New Zealand passes UK as largest source of migrants to Australia

24 September 2007

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Australia is reporting that New Zealand has overtaken the United Kingdom as the largest source of permanent migrants to its country. The news follows a report stating that an increasing number of New Zealand citizens are leaving their country permanently.

The new publication, entitled 'Settler Arrivals 1996-97 to 2006-07 Australian States and Territories', showed that arrivals from New Zealand jumped to 23,906 in 2006-07 -- an increase from 19,033 the previous year.

"Our migration programme is focused on skilled migration to ensure that new arrivals can join the work force and integrate quickly into Australian society," said Australian Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews.

According to Andrews, the number of UK migrants remained steady at 23,223 in 2006-07.

"Together, New Zealand and the United Kingdom accounted for 33.6 percent of all settler arrivals," he said.

Behind New Zealand and the UK, the next largest source countries were:

Andrews said his government feels that it is "essential new migrants bring skills to contribute to the work force and a commitment to integrate into the community."