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Despite being located below Down Under Australia and reachable only after more than 12-hour flight from Shanghai or San Francisco, New Zealand’s political stability, endearing lifestyle, comparable economic opportunities and clean environment are factors that migrant family’s dream of to settle.
The record influx of migrants in the past two years have economic forecasters reversing their forecasts about the Kiwi economy. Skilled migrants contribute to a desirable throng of more people looking for work, reducing pressure on wage rises, thus keeping inflation well below the country’s central bank target.
This in turn, Bloomberg reports, encouraged the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to reverse policy in 2015, cutting interest rates four times in six months and saying further easing is possible in 2016.
“Everybody has continued to be surprised at how strong immigration has remained,” said Craig Ebert, senior economist at Bank of New Zealand in Wellington. “Every month you think surely this is the month when it starts to cool off, and it just doesn’t. Where it goes will be really important for the economic story in the next year or two.”
Bloomberg report continues that New Zealand’s population grew 2 percent in the year through September to 4.6 million, the fastest pace in more than 20 years.
In contrast, Australia’s population growth slowed to 1.4 percent in the year through June as the economy weakened, making it less attractive to migrants. About 21,300 New Zealand citizens departed for Australia in the year through November, down from 48,600 three years earlier, according to government figures.
10,000 more international students in New Zealand
As early as February last year, New Zealand experienced a 12% increase in international students admission, or over 10,000 additional foreign students compared to the same period (January to August) from the previous year.
The country’s beauty, quality universities (all eight of its universities are currently in the QS Top 500 ranking of global universities); a clear student to resident pathway, welcoming visa and postgraduation work policies; well-supported English-language study (students are able to work while studying at NZQA Category 1 providers); and vocational and pathway programmes are positioning New Zealand as a solid choice among English-speaking study destinations.
The number arriving on work visas also has increased 25 percent since 2013 amid increased demand in the construction and software development industries. The U.K. was the biggest source of workers followed by France, Australia and Germany in the most recent 12-month period.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) last month estimated net arrivals of working-age migrants surged to a record 55,400 in 2015 -- 32 percent higher than its projection just 12 months earlier and three-and-a-half times its 2013 forecast.
RBNZ Governor Graeme Wheeler said Dec. 10 the RBNZ had been surprised by the scale of immigration. While the boost in population has stoked consumption and housing demand, it has been the supply side impact on the labor market that has affected the economy more quickly, giving it the capacity to absorb growth without pushing up prices, he said.
Wheeler expects 120,000 more immigrants in the three years through December 2018.
Authors & Contributors
Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.
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