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Visitor arrivals remain high
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  20 May 2016

International Travel and Migration: April 2016  –  Media Release

Visitor arrivals numbered 256,700 in April 2016, to set a new April record, Statistics New Zealand said today. Visitor arrivals were up 8 percent from April 2015, with a 40 percent increase in visitor arrivals from China.

"More visitors arriving from China, more than offset a 4 percent fall in visitors from Australia, and helped set a new April record," population statistics manager Jo-Anne Skinner said. "Easter moving from April in 2015 to March in 2016 meant higher than usual arrivals from Australia in March, but lower than usual arrivals in April."

In the April 2016 year, visitor arrivals hit a record 3.27 million, up 11 percent from the April 2015 year. Annual visitor arrivals broke the 3 million mark in the year ended July 2015, and have been rising steadily since.

New Zealand residents depart on 2.44 million trips in April 2016 year

New Zealand residents took 2.44 million overseas trips in the April 2016 year, up 6 percent from the April 2015 year. More trips to Australia, Fiji, and the United Kingdom were the biggest changes.

New Zealand residents took 217,800 overseas trips in April 2016, up 8 percent from April 2015. More New Zealanders heading overseas on holiday, or to visit friends and family, contributed to a record April month.

Monthly net gain in migrants steady; annual growth continues

Seasonally adjusted figures showed a net gain (more arrivals than departures) of 5,500 migrants in April 2016. Since exceeding 6,000 in October 2015, the seasonally adjusted net gain in migrants has averaged 5,800 per month.

New Zealand's unadjusted annual net gain of migrants reached 68,100 in the April 2016 year, a new high. Migrant arrivals drove the new high, with 124,700 migrants arriving in the April 2016 year. Returning New Zealand citizens made up a quarter of these. 

Annual net gains in migration from Australia continued (1,700 migrants), as more people moved from Australia to live on this side of the Tasman and fewer left.

Annual arrivals of non-New Zealand citizen migrants were led by the following countries:

  • India (13,100; 11 percent of all arrivals)
  • China (11,000; 9 percent of all arrivals)
  • the United Kingdom (9,100; 7 percent of all arrivals)
  • Australia (9,000; 7 percent of all arrivals).

See the International Travel and Migration: April 2016 commentary and tables for more information.


For media enquiries contact: Melissa McKenzie, Christchurch 03 964 8700,
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 20 May 2016

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