Published & updated 21 May 2018:
The inflow of long-term migrants to New Zealand dropped by just under 1000 in April compared to a year ago, and the total for the last 12 months is down 4900 to 67,038. The net inflow for the 12 months to March was 67,984.
Statistics NZ is trying to improve its information and where in the country migrants end up, including reclassifying some short-term visitors as long-term immigrants.
In the meantime, its figures out today show a fall in the number stopping in Auckland fell for the month but were still ahead for the year.
The net outflow to Australia was steady for both month & year.
The bald statistics:
Net migrant inflow April: 2460 (3406 in April last year)
Net migrant inflow April year: 67,038 (71,885)
Migrants into Auckland in April: 3725 (3849)
Migrants into Auckland in April year: 58,337 (57,885)
Net Auckland inflow in April: 1471 (1880)
Net Auckland inflow in April year: 34,039 (35,864)
Net outflow to Australia in April: 486 (316)
Net outflow to Australia in April year: 162 outflow (780 inflow).
The Australian factor
The Australian factor has been important in New Zealand’s migration picture.
In the 6 years to April 2013, an average 40,000/year NZ citizens left for Australia and a total 57,000 (average 9500/year) came the other way.
The peak was in 2012, when over 48,000 NZ citizens left for Australia (a net 39,600 exited) and total emigration topped 53,000. Departing Kiwis outnumbered those returning by almost 6 to 1.
In the next 2 years the number departing dwindled to a net just below 2000/year, but NZ citizen departures were still up at 6600.
In 2016-17 there was a net inflow from Australia (1721 & 780 in the 2 April years), but the NZ citizen exit rate remained in the thousands. In the latest 12 months, the NZ citizen outflow was 5245.
Over the last 5 years, 14-17,000 NZ citizens/year have come home from Australia, while 29,000 went the other way in 2014, dropping to 22,300 in 2015 and to just over 20,000 in each of the last 3 years.
Attribution: Statistics NZ tables.