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Monday, May 17, 2021, 17:59
New Zealand sees largest ever annual drop in net migration
By Xinhua
Monday, May 17, 2021, 17:59 By Xinhua

An Air New Zealand airplane waits for passengers at Wellington International airport, New Zealand, on Feb 20, 2020. (MARTY MELVILLE / AFP)

WELLINGTON - New Zealand's net migration saw the largest drop on an annual basis in the year ended March 2021, the statistics department Stats NZ said on Monday.

Net migration was provisionally estimated at 6,600 in the year ended March 2021 compared with the highest record of 91,900 in the year ended March 2020, with a drop of 85,400.

On an annual basis, New Zealand saw "the lowest numbers for migrant arrivals since 1986 and for migrant departures since 1969," according to population indicators manager Tehseen Islam

COVID-19-related border and travel restrictions have resulted in record annual falls in both migrant arrivals and migrant departures, the department said.

The net gain of 6,600 in the year ended March 2021 was made up of 36,400 migrant arrivals and 29,800 migrant departures.

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"On an annual basis, these are the lowest numbers for migrant arrivals since 1986, and for migrant departures since 1969," population indicators manager Tehseen Islam said in a statement.

"However, we still have a net migration gain as migrant arrivals exceed migrant departures," Islam said.

Meanwhile, arrivals and departures across the New Zealand border saw record annual declines in the year ended March 2021, due to COVID-19 border and travel restrictions, Stats NZ said.

There were 319,700 border crossings in the year ended March 2021, made up of 127,600 arrivals and 192,100 departures. In contrast, in the year ended March 2020 there were 13.6 million border crossings, made up of 6.8 million arrivals and 6.8 million departures, it said.

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Border crossings include all arrivals and departures, either for short-term trips or longer term, and by people living overseas or in New Zealand.

"People's ability to travel was limited due to border and travel restrictions, along with capacity restrictions in managed isolation and quarantine facilities," Islam said. 

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