New Zealand on the up as a preferred expat destination

Published:  1 Aug at 6 PM
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Traditionally, New Zealand has always welcomed large numbers of expats looking to start a new life, with British expats making up a strong percentage of its annual arrival statistics.

A recent analysis of the country’s immigration data has revealed a five per cent increase in arrivals for the 12 months from June 2016. Out of the total of 131,400, leaving aside the 25 per cent comprising New Zealand citizens returning from overseas, the trend in immigration is still on the up. Australia continued to be the largest source of arrivals, showing 19 per cent of the total, with Britons making up 12 per cent, expats from China at 10 per cent and Indians on seven percent.

Over half of the new arrivals chose Auckland as their preferred city, with 11 per cent heading for Canterbury and nine per cent starting their new lives in Wellington. One positive development shown by the analysis indicated more than half of new migrants were aged between 20 and 29, with a further 36 per cent aged between 30 and 49. In the past, New Zealand was a favourite destination for retirees from the UK, but the recent increase in its popularity with millenials and experienced professionals is expected to benefit the country’s economy.

The study also revealed around 45 per cent of all arrivals during the period entered on work visas, whilst 18 per cent were students from India and China planning to study at the country’s universities. Auckland was the most popular city with student applicants, followed by Canterbury, Waikato and Wellington.

A separate study from Statistics New Zealand revealed the vast majority of new arrivals were more than happy with their choice, citing the environment, a sense of belonging, peaceful surroundings and ease of settling in. A good number said they had enough money for their daily needs, based on housing, clothing, food and other necessities. During 2016, New Zealand’s economy grew by over three per cent in contrast to the shrinkage of GDP and rise in unemployment noted in 2008.
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