New Zealand is suddenly experiencing an immigration boom
of sizeable proportions, and it could surpass the great one of
2002-03, BNZ senior economist Craig Ebert says.
That could make it the largest one in decades, if not
''This will naturally speed up both aggregate demand and
supply growth - something we're already beginning to detect
in the local data.
Population gains alone could soon account for at least 0.4%
of GDP growth per quarter.''
However, it was the demand side pressure, especially on the
already stretched housing market, that would probably get the
most attention from the Reserve Bank in the first instance,
The economic impacts of New Zealand's booming net immigration
was something to watch for in the Reserve Bank's next set of
forecasts and commentary on June 12.
The suddenness of the immigration boom should not be
understated, From being near-zero between 2010-12, net
immigration had since doubled the rate of resident population
growth to an above-average rate.
The pressure was now on, Mr Ebert said.
It was important to understand some of the details and
compositions of the migrant flows, especially with many
misconceptions in the public domain.
A comprehensive analysis required much time and resources but
some results had been easy to get to and should be
enlightening, he said.
The latest immigration boom was not so much driven by a giant
wave of arrivals from Asia, all looking to buy a house in
Auckland, he said.
Migrant arrivals had increased, and to a ''relatively robust
level'', but it had been the plunge in migration departures
that had mostly driven the net gains.
There were 64,445 migrant departures in the year to April,
compared to 82,441 in the previous corresponding period.
Arrivals increased 11,594 in the same period.
The tilt was more pronounced when tracking the migrant flows
of only New Zealand citizens, Mr Ebert said.
Departures for the group fell 16,716 between the year to
April 2014 and the year to April 2013 to 64,445. Arrivals
The fall in departures explained 84% of the change in net
immigration among New Zealand citizens in the past year or
New Zealand citizens returning from aboard, including from
Australia, were a relatively minor driver.
''The message that drops out of this is it is extremely
difficult for policy officials to target a net amount of
inward migration when the departure side is free to move -
coupled with the fact Australians and New Zealanders wanting
to move to New Zealand are free to do so and are not subject
to the restrictions folk from other countries are,'' Mr Ebert