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  • NZ Migration Title

    People migrate for many different reasons, such as economic, social, political or environmental, and New Zealand is a dream migration destination to many. Immigration is a critical economic enabler, contributing economically and culturally. Immigration is vital for filling skill and labour shortages and supplementing ‘home grown’ talent by building the skill capacity of the NZ workforce through providing employers with access to global skills and talents. Scroll down to view some simple facts to help understand the ever-changing face of Aotearoa - who are coming, where they're going, and why.

    Country Of Origin title
    The most frequent source of immigrants are from Asian countries, due to New Zealand's stable democracies and for younger people to find better work opportunities and improve their qualifications, including their language skills. This is followed by the UK, due to both countries' close connections.

    Hover over country names to see how many are coming from NZ's top migrant countries.

    Top migrant countries
    (year leading up to May 2014)

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    • China
    • France
    • Germany
    • India
    • Philippines
    • United Kingdom
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    Region Distribution title
    Many immigrants first live in temporary accommodation (such as a motel, backpacker hostel, apartment, or with friends or relatives) while they search for a more permanent home. Many of those initially arriving into main cities actually settled elsewhere, with greater density North Island regions.

    Click the regions for more information and to see where migrants settle within New Zealand.

    Auckland received 33,080 permanent and long-term arrivals in the year ended 2010. It is home to one-third of New Zealand’s population, but received 46 percent of arriving migrants in the year ended 2010. Auckland had a slightly lower share of arriving migrants between 2004 and 2010 (46 percent) than between 1996 and 2003 (50 percent)., which coincided with a change to immigration policy in 2003.
    Waikato received 5,037 permanent and long-term arrivals in the year ended 2010. This number is down from the previous two years of 2012 and 2011, which were 5,369 and 5,278 respectively.
    Wellington received 7,228 permanent and long-term arrivals in the year ended 2010. It is one of the most populous regions after Auckland, attracting 10 percent of migrants.
    Other North Island
    The remainder of the North Island received a combined total of 10,625 permanent and long-term arrivals in the year ended 2010. Overall, four of every five migrants settled in the North Island in the June 2010 year.
    Canterbury received 9,139 permanent and long-term arrivals in the year ended 2010. It is one of the most populous regions after Auckland, attracting 13 percent of migrants. Arrival numbers have risen in recent years due to the Canterbury earthquake rebuilds.
    Otago received 3,088 permanent and long-term arrivals in the year ended 2010. A large portion of this number comes from the arrival of people arriving on Student Visas.
    Other South Island
    The remainder of the South Island received a combined total of 3,043 permanent and long-term arrivals in the year ended 2010. Only 1 our of 5 mogrants settled in the North Island, with New Zealand’s least populous region, the West Coast, attracting the fewest migrants (333, or 0.5 percent).
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    other south island
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    Reasons For Moving title
    New Zealand provides a lot of advantages to new migrants, compared with their home countries. Highly acclaimed for its clean, unpolluted environment and superior quality of life. New Zealand also provides a relaxed lifestyle, space, and friendliness, with good working conditions and opportunity.

    Hover over images to see the percentage of reasons why people move to New Zealand.

    Economy info
    Education info
    Environment info
    Housing info
    Politics/Cultural info
    Work info
    Migration Trends title
    When someone considers moving to another country to live and work, they want to know what the attractions are and the lifestyle that ordinary people have. New Zealand is small, clean, with easy access to jobs, recreation, sports, pleasant homes – and that’s exactly why many people want to come here to live and work and raise their children. Many immigrants come from crowded cities in crowded countries, and choose New Zealand as it offers them a relaxed lifestyle, space, friendliness, and good living conditions.
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    Immigration is a critical economic enabler and contributes to the Government’s Business Growth Agenda. New Zealand can fill skill and labour shortages through effective and efficient immigration policies and processes.

    Monitoring migration trends provides a better understanding of the wider global environment in which migration takes place, important developments in New Zealand’s key markets, and the impact and success of current immigration policies. Understanding existing and emerging migration trends is also critical for the planning and development of immigration policy settings as well as migrant attraction, settlement and retention initiatives.

    A net migration gain of 7,900 people occurred in 2012/13 following a net migration loss of 3,200 in 2011/12. An increase in arrivals and decrease in departures on a permanent and long-term basis contributed to the overall net gain in 2012/13

    For more information about migration statistics in New Zealand, please visit the following websites: