New Zealand migration up

Photo:   Jaafar Alnasser

Migration to New Zealand climbed in February 2015, according to new statistics, driven by an influx of students from India.

New Zealand had a seasonally adjusted net gain (more arrivals than departures) of 4,800 migrants in February 2015, according to Statistics New Zealand.

The annual net gain of migrants in the February 2015 year totalled 55,100, almost double the 29,000 recorded one year ago. This is the seventh month in a row that the annual record for a net gain of migrants has been broken.

The new annual record was driven by both more arrivals (with a new high of 112,600) and fewer departures. Specifically, arrivals were fuelled by a wave of Indian migrants (11,800), with the majority of them on student visas. The next biggest net gains in migrants were from China (7,500), the United Kingdom (5,100), and the Philippines (3,800).

Tourism also increased, revealed the stiatics, as the Chinese New Year prompted a 96 per cent surge in visitors from China compared to February 2014.

“Last year, Chinese New Year occurred in January,” explains population statistics manager Vina Cullum. In 2015, the combined visitor arrivals from January and February were up 39 percent compared with the same period in 2014.

Monthly visitor arrivals from the United States, meanwhile, reached an all-time high in February (36,700). Visitor arrivals overally were up 14 percent in February 2015 (343,500), compared with February 2014.

New Zealand-resident travellers departing on 123,900 overseas trips in February 2015 – up 6 percent from February 2014 – primarily went to Australia (up 2,700) and China (up 2,200).