Expats in New Zealand are enjoying their new life and integrating well into the community, according to new research drawn from the Immigration Settlement Monitoring Programme.

Overall the survey found that ,ore than 80% of recent migrants are satisfied or very satisfied with life in New Zealand, with those who were ‘very satisfied’ increasing by five points in 2011 to 45%.

The top reason for moving to New Zealand was to be with family, partner or friends followed by the relaxed pace of life, the environment and landscape and then the ability to get a good job.

New Zealand is also living up to its reputation as a clean, green country, with 60% of recent migrants saying it exceeded their expectations upon arrival.

Feeling welcome and safe also exceeded expectations, with half of recent migrants saying they were made to feel more welcome than expected, while 38% of respondents found their safety from crime to be better than expected.

Around 70% of recent migrants wanted to stay permanently in New Zealand and 89% would recommend New Zealand to friends and family, according to the report.

The Labour and Immigration Research Centre in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment regularly surveys migrants, employers and the New Zealand public in order to gauge settlement outcomes, employer experiences, and community attitudes towards immigration.

The research shows positive results in several key settlement measures including recent migrants’ intention to stay, satisfaction with life and good matching between their jobs and qualifications/skills.
‘Labour market participation for recent migrants is generally positive. Not only were seven out of 10 recent migrants in paid employment in 2011, over three quarters of employed migrants said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their main job and 72% stated that their occupation matched or partly matched their skills and qualifications,’ said head of Labour and Immigration Research, Vasantha Krishnan.

‘This is an encouraging sign that migrants are integrating well into the labour force,’ she added.
Survey results are also used by Immigration New Zealand, part of MBIE, to develop and present information used to attract potential migrants to New Zealand. This survey also provides information on particularly challenging areas for migrants moving to New Zealand, and highlights where MBIE may be able to provide better information.