Earthquake causes people to immigrate out of New Zealand

23 August 2011

For five months in a row more migrants left New Zealand than arrived; The devastating earthquake of 22 February 2011 prompted people to move to Australia and elsewhere.

Permanent migration departures exceeded arrivals by 220 in July of 2011. This five month continuous period of net emigration out of New Zealand is the longest since 2001.

According to Statistics New Zealand, arrivals exceeded departures for the year to July 2011 by only 2,867, the lowest level since the year to October of 2001.

The New Zealand economy may slow down as a consequence, with lower net immigration to New Zealand leading to lower consumption and lower housing demand. New Zealand is still recovering from the earthquake that struck

Christchurch on 22 February 2011, killing 180 people and destroying homes and businesses.

Australia is an attractive destination for Kiwis (New Zealanders) struggling to get back on their feet. Australia is only three hours away and has higher average salary rates than New Zealand.

Immigration to Australia from New Zealand rose 48 percent to 41,462 immigrants in the year to July 2011, compared to 27,940 immigrants in the year to July 2010.