New Zealand


New Zealand sees stronger number of visitors from China – could Brits be next?

by Ray Clancy on June 28, 2016

For only the second time ever, more people from China have visited New Zealand than from Australia as the country becomes more and more popular with Asians.

Now there are signs that the country could become even more popular with British people who want to emigrate as a result if the historic vote for the country to leave the European Union.

New Zealand PlaneOverall visitor arrivals was 193,600 in May 2016, up 10% year on year and were driven by an increase in holiday arrivals, according to the latest data from Statistics New Zealand.

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

She also pointed out that in the May 2016 year, visitor arrivals hit a record 3.29 million, up 11% from the May 2015 year.

Seasonally adjusted figures showed a net gain, more arrivals than departures, of 5,500 migrants in May 2016. Since reaching a peak of 6,200 in November 2015, the seasonally adjusted net gain in migrants has averaged 5,700 a month. This reflects a declining trend in monthly net gains in migration.

New Zealand’s unadjusted annual net gain of migrants reached 68,400 in the May 2016 year, a new high. Annual net gains in migration from Australia also continued at 1,700 migrants.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key is to team up with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to negotiate new immigration deals in the wake of the vote in the UK to leave the European Union.

Key supported the UK remaining in the EU, but now the country may have deal with more applications from British people to move to New Zealand. Indeed, the number of UK visitors to New Zealand’s Immigration website more than doubled after Friday’s Brexit vote.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) general manager Steve McGill said their website received more than 5500 UK visits a day during the three day period following the vote, compared with a usual level of just over 2000 a day.

‘INZ has noted a significant increase in interest in New Zealand from British nationals since last week’s referendum,’ he added. One immigration update system received 2,169 registrations from British nationals over the three days when it usually receives around 3,000 a month.

‘The decision to stay or leave the EU was always a matter for voters in the UK and we respect the decision they have made. We will continue to have a strong relationship with both the EU and the UK, and to further develop our ties with both. In this respect nothing has changed,’ said Key.

‘The UK remains a member of the EU for the moment and it will take some time to work through the implications of their decision to leave. In terms of our existing trade arrangements, the immediate effects of the leave vote on New Zealand are likely to be limited and we expect that trade and other business activities will continue smoothly in the interim,’ he pointed out.

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