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NZ migration bolstered by British invasion

Friday 21st May 2010

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The number of Britons coming to New Zealand continued to be bump up migration statistics, as the state of the UK’s economy encourages them to leave and deters new people from going.  

Net inward migration was 20,000 in the 12 months ended April 30, more than twice the 9,200 in April a year ago, though down from its 22,600 peak in January.  

Some 16,000 new Brits have underpinned the number, while only 8,000 people left New Zealand for the UK.

Still, this is expected to slow in coming months as more New Zealanders look across the Tasman for better job prospects, with about 30,000 kiwis crossing the Ditch in the past 12 months.  

“Stronger employment growth and a firmer labour market in Australia, relative to New Zealand, will continue to attract New Zealanders across the Tasman over the next year,” said Jane Turner, ASB economist.

“We expect the annual inflow of net migrants to continue to slow, as departures begin to recover, particularly to Australia.” 

An inflow of new migrants and returning expatriates underpinned growth in New Zealand’s population last year as the global financial crisis took its toll on labour markets around the world.

As the recovery sets in, particularly in Australia where there was no recession, people are beginning to feel more comfortable to look offshore for opportunities once more. 

Tourist numbers fell 1.8% in April, with a decline in British and American holidaymakers somewhat offset by more Asian visitors, particularly Koreans.

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