21 Sep Migration stats remain strong
By JAMES WEIR – The Dominion Post
New Zealand gained 1600 more new migrants than those who left the country permanently in August, with a slowdown in the past exodus to Australia, according to latest official figures.
The net migration gain for August was down from 2400 in July according to Statistics NZ figures.
Far fewer people are leaving for Australia, down by almost 2000 in the month.
However, the annual net migration gain of 15,600 for the past 12 months remains well up on the almost 5000 gain in the year to August 2008.
The stronger migration figures are supporting a recovery in the housing market and will help underpin retail sales.
Meanwhile, overseas tourists arriving in New Zealand in August were down 1 per cent on the same month last year, with a strong rise from Australian travellers offsetting a slump in other markets.
Visitor arrivals (161,100) fell 1 per cent in August 2009 compared with August 2008, but visitor arrivals from Australia remained strong (up 9,200 or 12 percent).
The decrease in visitor arrivals was driven by fewer visitors from Asia, with Japan (down 3,500 or 39 per cent), Korea (down 2,100 or 34 per cent), and China (down 1,900 or 29 percent) contributing most of the decline.
Visitor arrivals in the August 2009 year (2.4 million) were down 69,700 (3 per cent) from the August 2008 year.
New Zealanders are still taking holidays overseas as much as a year ago, but are not going as far.
New Zealand residents departed on 176,300 short-term overseas trips in August 2009, unchanged from August 2008, Statistics NZ said.
The increase in trips to Australia (up 3,600 or 4 per cent), boosted by travel to the Bledisloe Cup, offset falls to other destinations, including the United States (down 1,400 or 15 percent) and the United Kingdom (down 900 or 9 percent).
For the August 2009 year, short-term departures of New Zealand residents numbered 1.9 million, down 76,400 (4 per cent) from the previous year.