The Market

by Simon Lord

last updated 24/03/2017

More people coming to New Zealand on work visas

by Simon Lord

last updated 24/03/2017

21 March 2017 – Record net annual migration levels continue, Statistics New Zealand said today, bringing larger numbers of migrants into the country on work and residence permits.
Migration statistics 1997-2017. Source: Statistics New Zealand

In the February 2017 year, 71,300 more migrants arrived in New Zealand than left, Statistics NZ said today. This equalled the previous annual record set in January 2017. Migrant arrivals numbered 128,800 in the February 2017 year, a new annual record, while migrant departures were 57,500.

'About a third of all migrant arrivals for the year were people coming to New Zealand on work visas,' population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said. 'Just over a quarter of all work-visa migrants were from the United Kingdom and France. The next largest sources of migrants coming to New Zealand to work were from Germany, Australia, South Africa, and the United States.'

Visa types contributing most to the migrant arrivals were:

  • work visas (43,000 – up 4,400)
  • New Zealand and Australian citizens (38,100 – up 1,700)
  • student visas (23,800 – down 4,300)
  • residence visas (16,800 – up 2,400).

Good news for franchises?

With many franchisors reporting that finding access to suitable staff is still one of their top three concerns about factors inhibiting growth, the increase in those arriving on working visas could be good news in some sectors. Similarly, the increase in those holding residence visas might assist with the number one challenge - the availability of suitable franchisees.

As a 2011 survey showed, language and communication skills can have a major impact on franchisee performance. With many of the new arrivals coming from English-speaking countries, there is potential for more people to look at franchise opportunities which offer them the potential to establish a business with a model proven in their new country. Read our November 2016 article "Immigration to NZ, Brexit and the Trump Factor" for more about the influence of the changing face of immigration on franchising in New Zealand.

Visitor arrivals at a record-equalling level in February 2017 year

Annual visitor arrivals for the February 2017 year numbered 3.54 million, equalling the previous annual record set in January 2017 - good news for the hospitality sector. This was up 11 percent from the February 2016 year. Visitor arrivals numbered 380,000 in February 2017, up 2 percent from February 2016.

'In February, strong increases in visitor numbers from the United States and Europe were behind the overall rise in visitor arrivals,' Mr Dolan said. 'These more than offset the large drop in visitor numbers from China, which was likely due to Chinese New Year beginning in January this year, and in February in 2016.'

New Zealanders depart on highest-ever number of overseas trips

New Zealand residents set a new annual record of 2.66 million overseas trips in the February 2017 year, up 10 percent from the February 2016 year. In February 2017, New Zealand residents left on 147,400 trips overseas, up 16 percent from February 2016.

International migration statistics rely on the information provided on passenger cards at the time of travel. The reported length of intended stay in New Zealand, or time away from New Zealand, determines whether the passenger is a visitor or a migrant.

Seasonal fluctuations in short-term traveller numbers describes how the number of overseas visitors in New Zealand, and New Zealand residents travelling overseas, varies across each day of the year.

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