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Christchurch quakes blamed for drop in New Zealand migrants

The net flow of migrants into New Zealand has been noticeably down over the past few months, a fact that some analysts are citing as a result of the Christchurch earthquakes, with Statistics New Zealand revealing that while departures of Christchurch residents were up 300 on May last year, there were 100 fewer arrivals into the city.

For the year ending May, Christchurch’s net population gain from New Zealand immigration was just 4,600, compared with a net gain of 18,000 the year before and an average annual gain of 12,000 over the past 20 years.

‘The number of New Zealanders leaving permanently, particularly to Australia, had been high prior to the February earthquake, reflecting the challenging New Zealand economic environment and the attraction of the strong Australian labour market’, ASB economist Jane Turner said.

‘The earthquake adds further momentum to this trend. We expect net outflows may continue over the coming months, particularly following the large earthquake early last week.’

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