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NZ exodus across the Tasman slows to smallest monthly pace in almost three years

Tuesday 21st May 2013

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The number of New Zealanders quitting this country for a better life across the Tasman slowed to its smallest monthly pace in almost three years, as the local economic prospects start overshadowing Australia's.

Seasonally adjusted, almost 2,000 more people left New Zealand for Australia than arrived in April, according to Statistics New Zealand. That's the smallest monthly outflow across the Tasman since September 2010, with a net gain of non-New Zealanders arriving, and trimming the net 2,200 citizens going to the so-called 'lucky country'. About 45,700 New Zealanders left the country for Australia in the year ended April 30.

Australia has been a favourite destination for many kiwis seeking better wages and a higher standard of living with almost open access to the larger nation. In the past year the economic fortunes of the two nations has turned, with New Zealand's recovery gathering pace as the Canterbury rebuild unfolds, and Australia's mining boom seen peaking soon.

Statistics NZ said the country added a seasonally adjusted 1,600 new migrants in April. The actual annual gain was some 4,800 new migrants.

The gains came from across the board, with a 39 percent jump in the number of Australian migrants to 1,737 in April from the same month a year earlier and a 15 percent lift in the number of UK migrants to 848. On an annual basis, Australia led the pace, with an 18 percent annual increase of new migrants to about 16,200.

Short-term visitor arrivals rose to a seasonally adjusted 232,350 in April from 227,380 in March, and up from 213,650 a year earlier. Chinese visitors underpinned the gains, up 36 percent to 24,800 in April from a year earlier.

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