New Zealand's migration influx continues to rise as more Indian and Chinese students flock to courses in the country.
New Zealand had a net gain of 60,300 migrants in the August year, the 13th straight month a record has been set, Statistics New Zealand said today.
Migrant arrivals rose 13 percent to a record 117,900, while departures fell 5 percent to 57,600.
Foreign students have been a boon to New Zealand education businesses, with their contribution growing faster compared to fees generated by local students.
In the latest year, student visas rose by 6400 to 26,800. Of those, 10,600 were from India and 5100 from China.
Work visas issued climbed by 4600 to 35,900, with people from the UK the biggest single source at 6100.
Overall, India contributed most to the gain in migrant arrivals, at 12,700 in the year, followed by 8400 from China, 4500 from the Philippines and 3800 from the UK.
The decline in migrant departures was mainly due to fewer Kiwis leaving for Australia.
Departures of New Zealand citizens to Australia fell 16 percent to 21,600 in the August 2015 year, helping trim the net loss to just 500, the lowest level since 1991.
The net outflow to Australia peaked at 40,000 in the August 2012 year.
Auckland was the biggest recipient of migrants in the latest year, at 27,900, followed by Canterbury on 6700 and Waikato at 2300.
Half of all migrants to state an address on their arrival card were moving to the Auckland region.
New Zealand welcomed a record 3.02 million short-term visitors in the August 2015 year, up 8 percent from the August 2014 year.
Of that, 1.29 million were from Australia, 320,400 from China, and 236,300 from the US, contributing a combined 61 percent of the total.
New Zealand residents also broke records in the August year, departing for a record 2.36 million overseas trips, up 6 percent from the same period a year earlier.
NZ First: Migrants keep wages down
The Government wants more migrants because they keep wages down, NZ First says, while the Greens believe they're a main reason for the economic growth "facade".
That's their reaction to the latest figures which show New Zealand had a net gain of 60,300 migrants in the year to August, the 13th straight month a record has been set.
A booming education industry is part of the reason, with more and more Indian and Chinese students arriving.
NZ First's Ron Mark says migrants accept inferior pay and conditions, and employers know that.
"That was the government's intention, it's an age-old trick and it is exploiting foreign workers from lower-wage economies," he said today.
"Finance Minister Bill English admits immigration has kept wages down."
Mr Mark says foreign students trying to earn money to pay their costs are depriving low-skilled New Zealanders of jobs in a highly competitive market.
"That can be seen by the number of foreign workers in supermarkets and service stations, and in the hospitality industry."
The Green Party's Julie Anne Genter says economic growth based on migration is unsustainable.
"High migration is part of National's facade of economic prosperity," she said.
"Migration-driven economic activity is part of what's hiding the fact that National's economic policies are failing."