New Zealand gained another 58,300 migrants in the year to June, a record number, with nearly half crossing the ditch from Australia, according to Statistics New Zealand figures.
The net gain resulted from 115,700 migrant arrivals and 57,400 migrant departures.
Economists said migration was being boosted by fewer people leaving for Australian and large numbers of migrant workers and students.
Of the arrivals 24,100 were from Australia of whom two-thirds were returning Kiwis.
For the third month in a row, there was a seasonally adjusted net gain of 100 migrants from Australia.
Before April there had not been a net gain in migrants from Australia since 1991.
The United Kingdom produced the next highest number of new arrivals with 13,500, most having work visas or New Zealand citizens.
Another 13,300 arrived from India, three-quarters of whom were students while and China accounted for 10,300 arrivals with about half being students.
New Zealand had a seasonally adjusted net gain (more arrivals than departures) of 4800 migrants in June.
Net migration has been fluctuating around this level for 11 months.
Visitor arrivals in June numbered 177,000, up 9 per cent on June last year.
In the year to June visitor arrivals totalled 2.99 million, up 7 per cent from the previous year.
Statistics New Zealand population statistics manager Vina Cullum said China, Australia, and the United States contributed the biggest visitor increases for both the June month and year, making up 61 per cent of all arrivals in the year to June.
Westpac senior economist Felix Delbruck said net immigration was showing no serious sign of slowing.
Recent migration flows had been boosted by a cyclical low in departures of New Zealanders to Australia, as well as by high inflows of temporary migrants on work and student visas, he said.
Net migration was expected to slow as the year progressed, but at a gradual pace, he said.
“Reconstruction activity in Canterbury is at a peak and the wider New Zealand economy has come off the boil, which will in time make New Zealand a less attractive destination for migrants,” Delbruck said.
However Australia was not a compelling alternative amid downbeat job and earning prospects, he said.
ASB rural economist Nathan Penny said while net migration was strong it was showing signs of plateauing and may be near or at its peak.
“As a result, we are unlikely to see fresh impetus for capacity or growth from this front,” Penny said.
Strong migration was supporting robust levels of consumption and helping keep a lid on wages, he said.
Annual migration hits new record
Posted on July 22, 2015