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23 December 2010
The net inflow of immigration to New Zealand has slowed down due to increasing departures from the country, mainly to Australia. However, immigration to and from New Zealand has overall resulted in a net gain to the population.
Australia's strong economic growth is attracting more migrants; This is considered to be the main reason for decreasing levels of net migration to New Zealand. The situation will likely continue as Australia is expected to loosen immigration requirements on temporary work visas.
According to Statistics New Zealand, in the year ending in November 2010, there was a net gain of 11,500 migrants to New Zealand, slightly lower than the average 11,900 average annual intake over the last 20 years.
"Over the past year, the annual inflow of net migration has been slowing as the number of departures has been rising, largely due to an increase in departures to Australia," said an economist with Auckland Savings Bank.
"With Australian employment growth continuing to outperform labour market conditions in New Zealand, we expect departures will continue to lift", she added. "This will see the current pace of annual inflow ease from around 12,000 per annum in recent months to around 5000 to 6000."
One interesting fact is that Indians became the number one group of migrants entering New Zealand in the year to November 2010. 6,300 Indians arrived in New Zealand during this time period, compared to 4,500 Britons.