According to the latest figures published by Statistics New Zealand (www.stats.govt.nz), record numbers of migrants arrived in the period Jan – Nov 2013. In this period, 93,000 migrants arrived, the highest amount for a decade. This meant that there was a net gain of 2800 migrants for the country.
The majority of migrants came from the UK (5,900 for the period Jan – Nov 2013).
China is the second biggest group of migrants to NZ followed by India, The Philippines and Germany. The regions of Auckland and Canterbury received the most migrants.
Statistics NZ have also published information about trends in different regions in New Zealand. The Northland Region, the northernmost area of the country, (main population area Whangarei), has mainly migrants arriving from the UK and Australia.
The Southland region receives migrants mainly from Asia. Framing is the main occupation here as agriculture is the dominant regional industry.
A recent New Zealand Immigration policy change means that additional points are now awarded for skilled migrants with job offers outside of Auckland so skilled migrants are likely to be increasingly populating other regions of the country in the future.
The main drivers of immigration are work-related. Construction and engineering migrants are in demand with Auckland recently announcing plans for large infrastructure programmes and the Christchurch rebuild. Migrants are needed to fill skills shortages in these areas over the coming years.
The Christchurch rebuild is said to be the largest construction project in the history of New Zealand. After a series of earthquakes, a large area of the city needs to be rebuilt and new commercial and residential buildings erected. It is estimated that around 36,000 additional workers will be needed in the city including many tradesmen, construction workers and engineering workers. The employment opportunities for this city are attracting migrants from the UK and all around the world and this trend is likely to continue over the next few years.
The discovery and exploitation of offshore energy reserves have also led to certain areas of New Zealand becoming more popular with migrants. The Taranaki region, for example, can offer potential migrants many opportunities for employment. As a growing oil and gas producing region, it is often referred to as ‘the energy province’. Skills shortages are anticipated for the area over the next 2-3 years. Further information about moving to Taranaki can be found on the Venture Taranaki website www.taranaki.info.
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