New Zealand sees record number of immigrants in year to August 2015

by Ray Clancy on September 21, 2015

New Zealand has always been popular with expats, but now is seems that it is holiday makers who are swelling arrivals in the country as well as people arriving to live and work.

The latest official data shows that they contributed to a 7% increase in visitor arrivals to New Zealand in August 2015, when compared with August 2014.

newzealandMAPThe figure from Statistics New Zealand show that visitor arrivals numbered 202,900 in August 2015 and 3.02 million in the August 2015 year, up 8% year on year.

“Holiday makers had the biggest visitor increases by purpose for both the August month and year. China, Australia, and the United States drove the increase in holiday arrivals,” said population statistics manager Joel Watkins.

The data also reveals a record net gain of 60,300 migrants in the August 2015 year. The annual net gain in migrants has been setting new records as it approached 60,000 over the last 13 months. India contributed 12,700 to the net gain, China 8,400, the Philippines 4,500, and the United Kingdom 3,800.

The record annual permanent and long term net gain of migrants in the August 2015 year resulted from 117,900 migrant arrivals, and 57,600 migrant departures.

Of the migrant arrivals in the August 2015 year some 24,500 were from Australia, with two thirds being New Zealand citizens, 13,900 were from India with three quarters having student visas, 13,400 were from the United Kingdom with most having work visas or New Zealand citizenship and 10,600 were from China with about half having student visas.

Seasonally adjusted figures showed a net gain of 5,500 migrants in August 2015. This included a net gain of 200 migrants from Australia, equal to last month’s net gain, which was the highest in over 20 years since it was 300 in March 1991.

Meanwhile, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has signed a bilateral arrangement on the recruitment and treatment of Filipino migrant workers.

“New Zealand greatly values the contribution Filipino workers make to New Zealand’s labour force, particularly in areas such as the Canterbury rebuild,” Woodhouse said.

He confirmed that between 01 July 2011 and 30 June 2015, Immigration New Zealand approved a total of 5,614 temporary work visas specifically linked to the Canterbury rebuild. The top nationality during this period was the Philippines with 2,568.

“With such a significant number of Filipino workers coming to New Zealand to help with the Canterbury rebuild, we want to ensure these workers are treated fairly and not exploited. The arrangement signed is intended to reduce the vulnerability and potential for exploitation of workers by improving the transparency of recruitment processes and ensuring compliance with both countries’ employment and immigration requirements,” said Woodword. “The arrangement complements a range of Government initiatives aimed at ensuring migrant workers in New Zealand are treated well. These include the Immigration Amendment Act 2015, which significantly strengthens penalties for employers who exploit migrant workers; a package of additional protections for migrant workers in New Zealand to support the Canterbury rebuild; and a substantial increase in the resourcing of labour inspectors and immigration compliance officers.”

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