More Chinese visitors in May than Aussies

More Chinese visitors in May than Aussies

The number of holidaying Chinese visitors has topped the number of Australian tourists in New Zealand for just the second time ever.

Statistics NZ figures show New Zealand welcomed 193,600 visitors in May, a new record for the month.

It's 10 percent more than visited in the same month last year.

In the past year there were 3.29 million visitors, up 11 percent on the year before.

"Holiday visitor arrivals from China exceeded those from Australia in May 2016," population statistics manager Jo-Anne Skinner said. "This is only the second time this has ever happened -- the first was in February 2015."

There were also boosts in visitors from Malaysia, Korea, the US and Japan.

New Zealanders went on 210,600 overseas trips in May -- a new record, just barely. It's 1200 more than last May. In the past year, we took 2.45 million overseas trips -- mostly to Australia (1.14 million), but with growing numbers going to Fiji and the UK.

Monthly migrant arrivals dipped slightly to 5500, but it wasn't enough to stop the annual figure setting a new record of 68,400. It's the 22nd month in a row that annual migration has set a new high.

Montly migration peaked in November at 6200.

Most new arrivals in the past year have come from India, followed by China, the Philippines and the UK.