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Final stages of Rugby World Cup draw New Zealand residents to United Kingdom
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  23 November 2015

International Travel and Migration: October 2015  –  Media Release

New Zealand residents took 217,000 overseas trips in October 2015, up 5 percent from October 2014, Statistics New Zealand said today. Most of the increase was to the United Kingdom (UK).

"The final stages of the Rugby World Cup coincided with twice as many New Zealand residents travelling to the UK than in October last year," population statistics manager Vina Cullum said. "The All Blacks obviously had a lot of home support, with an additional 4,600 New Zealand residents heading to the UK."

New Zealand residents took a record 2.39 million overseas trips in the October 2015 year, up 6 percent. Almost half their trips were to Australia.

Holiday travellers from China boost visitor arrivals 

Visitor arrivals to New Zealand numbered 229,400 in October 2015, up 9 percent from October 2014. Much of the increase was holiday visitors from China, up 43 percent from October last year.

In the October 2015 year, visitor arrivals totalled 3.06 million, up 9 percent from the previous year. Australia contributed 1.31 million visitors, China 335,400, and the United States 237,700.

First annual net gain in migrants from Australia in over 20 years

New Zealand had a record annual net gain (more arrivals than departures) of migrants in the October 2015 year (62,500). It resulted from a record 120,100 migrant arrivals and 57,600 migrant departures. The annual net gain in migrants has been setting new records for the last 15 months. In October, net migration passed another milestone with the first annual gain in migrants from Australia in over 20 years (since the November 1991 year). Fewer New Zealand citizens departing for Australia and increased arrivals of both New Zealand and non-New Zealand citizens drove the change.

Of the migrant arrivals in the October 2015 year:

  • 25,000 were from Australia, with two-thirds being New Zealand citizens
  • 14,300 were from India, with three-quarters having student visas
  • 13,400 were from the UK, with about 80 percent having work visas or New Zealand citizenship
  • 10,800 were from China, with just under half having student visas.

Seasonally adjusted figures also showed a record net gain in October 2015 (6,200). Net migration has been regularly breaking records since August 2014, when it surpassed the previous highest-ever net gain of 4,700 (February 2003).

See the International Travel and Migration: October 2015 commentary and tables for more information.


For media enquiries contact: Melissa McKenzie, Christchurch 03 964 8700,
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 23 November 2015

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