Significant milestones were reached in June as migrants
continued to flow into New Zealand and fewer people left for
Statistics New Zealand figures showed the seasonally adjusted
permanent long-term arrivals from Australia in June matched
the number of departures (2000), resulting in net transtasman
migration of zero.
ASB economist Chris Tennent-Brown said August 1991 was the
last time a net migration loss to Australia was not recorded.
''Over the full year to June 2014, New Zealand still had a
net loss of 8300 migrants to Australia but that is
significantly down from 31,200 in the year to June 2013.''
Other milestones included permanent and long-term migrant
(PLT) numbers of 4270 for the June month being the second
best on record. The highest on record of 4700 came in
The net PLT migrant gain reflected arrivals of 9210 (up 1.2%
in the month and 12.5% for the year) and departures of 4940
(down 3.5% in the month and 17.8% for the year).
In the June year, permanent and long-term arrivals were
100,800, up 14% from 2013 and the first time more than
100,000 PLT arrivals had been recorded in a year, according
to Statistics NZ.
In contrast, annual departures in the year were 62,466, the
lowest number of annual departures for 10 years.
Mr Tennent-Brown said relative market performance was the key
driver of transtasman migration.
''Given Australian labour market indicators have improved
over recent months, we do not expect to see a slowdown in New
Zealand's net migration inflows over the rest of the year. We
expect annual net migration will peak around 42,500.
"But at the moment, the risk to this forecast is to the
In the past quarter, the level of net migration arrivals
annualised closer to 50,000, he said.
The Reserve Bank was very focused on the demand side of the
migration, going as far as suggesting a scenario in which
much stronger than expected migration resulted in higher
The other side was the effect on the labour market, where
migrants added to the pool of workers available to work and
in doing so, kept a lid on inflation pressures, he said.
Westpac senior economist Felix Dulbruck said net migration
was running ahead of the Reserve Bank's forecasts in the June
Monetary Policy Statement, the single bright spot in what had
been a disappointing run of New Zealand data for the central
Seasonally short-term arrivals and departures both fell in
''We were slightly surprised by the sharp drop in New Zealand
short-term departures, given still relatively high consumer
confidence and the continued drawcards of a high New zealand
dollar and cheap overseas travel.''