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Annual net migration remains high in October
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  22 November 2017

International Travel and Migration: October 2017  –  Media Release

New Zealand saw a net gain of 70,700 migrants for the year ended October 2017, with 131,600 migrant arrivals and 61,000 migrant departures, Stats NZ said today.

Net migration remained high by historical standards but was lower than the peak of 72,400 in the July 2017 year.

“Non-New Zealand citizen migrant arrivals continued to drive the high net migration levels,” population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said. “The fall in annual net migration from the peak in the July 2017 year was mainly caused by an increase in non-New Zealand citizen migrant departures.”

A record 27,400 non-New Zealand citizen migrants departed in the October 2017 year, up 1.6 percent from the September 2017 year and up 22 percent from the October 2016 year.

Chart, Permanent and long-term migration, year ended October 2017.

Outcomes-based net migration

This release includes an outcomes-based measure of migration called the 12/16-month rule. This new measure defines migrants by how long they actually stay in New Zealand, rather than how long they say they intend to stay.

The 12/16-month rule showed net migration in the June 2016 year was 65,100, compared with 69,100 as defined by the permanent and long-term (PLT) migration measure. June 2016 is the most recently available period for outcomes-based migration due to the 17-month lag in producing migration figures by the 12/16-month rule.

The PLT method for classifying migrants defines a migrant as somebody who states on their arrival card that they intend to be in New Zealand for more than a year.

Often, travellers’ stated intentions do not match with what they actually do in terms of staying in New Zealand. For example, people classified as overseas visitors by the PLT measure will be classified as migrants by the outcomes-based measure if they stay in New Zealand longer than they originally intended (for more than 12 out of the next 16 months).

“Using an outcomes-based measure of defining migrants gives a clearer picture of the migration patterns in New Zealand,” Mr. Dolan said. “The release this month is the first release to include the regular outcomes-based migration series.”

For more information on the 12/16-month rule, see:

See also: Australians boost record visitors – media release


For media enquiries contact: Kim Dunstan 03 964 8330, or James Weir 021 285 9191;
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 22 November 2017

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