Posted on August 24, 2021

NZ’s Net Migration Gain Dwindles to Just 4700 a Year

Melanie Carroll, Stuff, August 13, 2021

The number of migrants gained by Aotearoa New Zealand continues to fall, with a net migration gain of just 4700 in the year ended June.

That was the lowest net increase for a June year since 2013, Stats NZ said on Friday. It was a fraction of the net gain of 84,845 a year earlier, and the 52,101-person gain for the year to June 2019.

“Monthly migration since April 2020 has been low, due to the introduction of Covid-19 border and travel restrictions from March 2020, which have limited people’s ability to travel internationally, as well as managed isolation and quarantine capacity constraints,” said Stats NZ population indicators manager Tehseen Islam​.

There were an estimated 45,300 migrant arrivals and 40,500 migrant departures for the 12 months.

Historically New Zealand has lost more New Zealand citizens and gained more non-New Zealand citizens, but since the Covid-19 pandemic hit that trend has reversed, Islam said.

“As a result of Covid-19, the number of New Zealand citizens leaving this country to live overseas has slowed considerably in the past year, and far fewer non-New Zealand citizens migrated to New Zealand.”

There was a net gain of 15,600 New Zealand citizens for the June year, and a net loss of 10,800 non-New Zealand citizens, he said.

In March 2020, New Zealand joined other countries in limiting travel to the country to limit the spread of Covid-19, closing its borders to everyone but citizens and residents.

The trans-Tasman travel bubble began on April 19, but Covid-19 outbreaks in Australia have resulted in pauses in quarantine-free travel.