New Zealand immigration slows in January

02 March 2006

New Zealand had a seasonally adjusted gain of 550 long-term and permanent migrants in January, Statistics New Zealand said on March 1.

The net migration gain compared with a gain of 1180 in December.

On an actual, unadjusted basis, arrivals exceeded departures by 1700, unchanged from a year earlier, the government agency said. There were 300 fewer permanent departures as well as 300 fewer permanent arrivals than in January 2005.

For the year ended January, there was a net gain in permanent and long-term migration of 6690, down 46 per cent on the net inflow of 12,810 people in the previous year ended December.

Net annual migration gains, previously a key driver of the strong domestic economy, have fallen since the peak of 42,500 in the year to May 2003, because of tighter immigration rules, a reduction in the number of foreign students studying in New Zealand, fewer New Zealanders returning home and more moving overseas.

In January 2006, there was a net inflow of 1600 from Britain, and 300 from Japan while there was a net outflow of 1200 to Australia.