In the aftermath of the earthquake in Christchurch in 2011 and the ongoing resources boom in Australia, immigration rates in New Zealand were indicating a net population loss as more and more people went overseas to look for work. However, the latest figures show this trend is now reversing, with the rebuild operation in Christchurch beginning to gain momentum, and immigration rates are beginning to improve with six of the last seven months showing net inflows – the highest since before the earthquake. ‘Annual net migration remains below average but has already seen a remarkable turnaround from the net outflows we were seeing a year ago’, said Westpac senior economist Felix Delbruck. Mr Delbruck said the improving conditions in New Zealand combined with the stabilising economy in Australia would soon make New Zealand a better prospect for migrants and Kiwis than Australia. ‘We expect the trend to continue strengthening over the next couple of years as labour shortages associated with the Canterbury rebuild become more acute.’ Felicity Ryan of Ryan Recruitment agreed and said her company was having no trouble placing skilled workers in positions across the country, not just in Christchurch. ‘It’s no surprise, that increase [in immigration], with what’s going on in Canterbury and it’s going to continue’, she said.
New Zealand immigration figures rise
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