NZ net migration slows
The Dominion Post | Saturday, 20 October 2007

New Zealand's net migration is slowing, with the growth in population through immigrants dipping for the year to September.

The net inflow from permanent and long-term migration eased nearly 40 per cent compared with the year to September 2006, to 8300.

Statistics New Zealand figures showed the latest number was also more than 30 per cent less than the average net inflow of 12,200 for the 17 years since 1990.

The main source of immigration, Britain, was down on last year, with 8215 immigrants compared with about 11,000.

The Philippines provided the next largest inflow of people, 3396 arriving to live in New Zealand in the past 12 months, almost double the previous year. Filipino immigrants have increased almost fourfold since 2005.

Statistics New Zealand population analysts said the growth from the Philippines was due to unemployment in that country and opportunities here, as well as more families than individuals arriving.

Immigration from India was up by 1125 people for the year to September, compared with the previous year. More than 2400 immigrants from Fiji also arrived.

ASB Bank economist Daniel Wills said the moderating numbers would be pleasing for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, because they would ease pressure on the housing market.

The bank would need further signs of sustained moderation in demand, however, before it relaxed its watching brief on inflation.

"The data does not alter our view that official cash rate cuts remain a distant prospect, with the first cut unlikely till late 2008."

Kiwis departing for Australia were at their second highest level for the past 10 years, with about 26,200 permanent net departures in the year to September.

The highest net loss across the Tasman since 1997 was 28,359 in 2001.

ANZ analysts said that could increase over the next 12 to 18 months, with the New Zealand and Australian economies following diverging paths.

Further declines in net migration could accentuate an already tight labour market, they said.

From here .