Annual net migration in the year ending June 2017 reached a record high of 72,300, Stats NZ said today. Migrant arrivals hit 131,400, and departures were 59,100.
Compared with the 12 months ending June 2016, this means net migration rose by 3,200.
“Annual net migration has been steadily increasing since late 2012 when we had more departures than arrivals,” population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said.
“Over the past three years, annual net migration has been consistently hitting record levels due to an increasing number of non-New Zealand citizen arrivals.”
Migration in the last year was mainly driven by non-New Zealand citizens, with a net gain of 73,600 arrivals.
Departures of New Zealand citizens outnumbered arrivals, and Stats NZ measured a net loss of 1,300 citizens.
Of the 33,500 New Zealanders who left the country in the June 2017 year, 61 per cent went to Australia.
Arrivals from Asia fell 5.2 per cent to 42,975, driven by a 31.5 per cent decline in Indian migrants.
However, long-term European arrivals rose 12.1 per cent to 31,094. The highest increases were seen in the UK, up 11.9 per cent to 15,166 migrants, Germany, up 13.3 per cent to 4,592 arrivals, and France, up 11.8 per cent to 4,432.
Migration from South Africa also heavily increased in the last 12 months, up 57 per cent to 1,869 arrivals.
Visitor arrivals surged in June, up 17 per cent to 230,100. UK and Irish visitors accounted for 10 per cent of visitor numbers.
“June 2017 had the second-highest number of monthly UK and Irish visitor arrivals for a June month ever,” Dolan said.
“The highest was in June 2005 when arrivals reached 28,200, which also coincided with the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.”
Compared to June 2016, visitor arrivals were up 10.2 per cent. The number of visitors on holiday rose 12.3 per cent to 209,024, the highest segment increase, followed by visitors attending conferences and conventions, which rose 10.7 per cent.