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More arrive to visit friends and relatives
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  21 December 2011

International Travel and Migration: November 2011  –  Media Release

Overseas visitors to New Zealand numbered 230,300 in November 2011, up 2 percent from November 2010, Statistics New Zealand said today.

"An increase in people arriving to visit friends and relatives was the main reason overseas arrival figures were up in November," Population Statistics manager Andrea Blackburn said. "The number of people arriving to visit friends and relatives was up 7,000, compared with November 2010. In contrast, holiday arrivals were down 3,400."

There were more visitors from Australia, China, and Malaysia, but fewer from Japan, Korea, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

There were 2 percent more visitors in the November 2011 year compared with the November 2010 year. A number of major events affected visitor arrivals in 2011, including the Canterbury earthquakes, flight disruptions due to volcanic ash, and the Rugby World Cup.

New Zealand residents took 174,600 trips in November 2011, up 9 percent from November 2010. They took more trips to Australia, India, Fiji, and China. In the November 2011 year, New Zealand residents took 2.080 million overseas trips, up 4 percent from the previous year.

Net loss of migrants continues

New Zealand's seasonally adjusted net loss of migration continued in November 2011, when departures exceeded arrivals by less than 100 people. Net losses have been recorded in 8 out of the 9 months since the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch. 

Unadjusted figures show that 6,500 Christchurch residents have moved overseas since the earthquake, compared with 4,200 during the same period in 2010. Since 22 February 2011, 3,700 migrants have moved to Christchurch from overseas compared with 4,800 during the same period last year.

New Zealand had a net loss of 600 migrants in the November 2011 year. This resulted from 85,000 permanent and long-term departures slightly outnumbering 84,400 permanent and long-term arrivals. This is the largest net loss since the September 2001 year (1,700).

In the November 2011 year, there was a net loss of 35,800 people to Australia. This is the highest-ever recorded net loss to Australia, surpassing the previous high of 35,400 people in the December 2008 year. The latest net loss resulted from 50,100 departures to Australia, offset by 14,400 arrivals from Australia. In both directions, most migrants were New Zealand citizens.

In the November 2011 year, there were net gains of migrants from most other countries, led by the United Kingdom (5,800), India (5,100), and China (4,600).

Geoff Bascand
Government Statistician
21 December 2011

For media enquiries contact:
Nicholas Thomson
Christchurch 03 964 8700

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