Immigration hits record high - again

  • 21/08/2017
China passport
Chinese migration continues to be the largest on a net basis. Photo credit: Getty

New Zealand annual net migration rose to a record in July, driven by foreign immigrants, with the biggest groups coming from Australia, Britain and China.

Annual net migration reached 72,400 in the year to July, up 3400 on the same period a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said on Monday.

Three-quarters of the record 132,100 migrant arrivals were non-New Zealand citizens, with 1100 more New Zealanders leaving the country than returning in the latest year.

There has been a net migration gain of 72,400 non-New Zealand citizens in the past year to July.

New Zealand has been experiencing record levels of net migration in recent years, with rising immigration a key election issue as it strains the country's infrastructure and has been blamed for inflating property markets.

Chinese migration continued to be the largest on a net basis, with 9961 of the 72,400 net arrivals from China, while India was the second-largest source at 7444 net.

However, Indian net migration was down 34 percent from a year earlier, with a 32 percent drop in annual student visas granted to Indian citizens.

Migration from the United Kingdom had the biggest increases on a net basis, up 53 percent to 6750, with net South African migration also up 50 percent to 4862.

The number of net migrants from Australia dropped to 469, from 1750 a year earlier.

China continued to be the biggest source of migrants on residence visas, rising 12.2 percent to 3413 in the year to the end of July, ahead of the total residence visa gain of 7.2 percent to 16,661.

There was a 15.3 percent increase in work visas granted in the year, to 45,397, while student visas dropped 9.9 percent to 24,132 and NZ and Australian citizen arrivals rose 6.3 percent to 38,740.

A record 1.9 million people came to New Zealand on holiday in the year, boosted by visitors from Australia, the United States and the UK, with a spike from the UK in June during the Lions rugby tour.

NZN