Visitor and migrant arrivals break records


Visitor arrivals numbered 344,400 in March 2016, with an earlier Easter break helping to produce a new March record, Statistics New Zealand said recently. Visitor arrivals were up 52,600 (18 percent) from March 2015, with holidaymakers driving the increase.

“More visitors arriving from Australia, China, and the US helped create a new March record,” population statistics manager Jo-Anne Skinner said. “The Queensland and Victoria school holidays coinciding with an early Easter break saw more visitors from these Australian states in particular.”

In the March 2016 year, visitor arrivals hit a record 3.26 million, up 10 percent from the March 2015 year. Annual visitor arrivals broke the three million mark in the year ended July 2015, and have been rising steadily since.

Annual net gain in migrants breaks record for 20th month in a row

Seasonally adjusted figures showed a net gain (more arrivals than departures) of 5,300 migrants in March 2016. The net gain in migrants was down from 6,000 in February 2016.

New Zealand’s annual net gain of migrants has reached a new high for the 20th month in a row, with an unadjusted figure of 67,600 in the March 2016 year. Migrant arrivals drove the new high, with 124,100 migrants arriving in the March 2016 year. One-quarter of these were New Zealand citizens returning.

Net migration from Australia continued to rise, with a net gain of 1,900 migrants. This is the highest annual net gain of migrants from Australia in about 25 years (since the August 1991 year) and the sixth consecutive month to show an annual net gain. One in five migrants arriving in New Zealand in the March 2016 year came from Australia, and most were New Zealand citizens returning.