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International Travel and Migration: October 2017
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  22 November 2017
Key facts

In October 2017 compared with October 2016 visitor arrivals were up 10,300 to 270,500.

The biggest changes were in arrivals from:

  • China (up 3,700)
  • Australia (down 3,100)
  • Republic of Korea (up 3,100).

Overseas trips by New Zealand residents were up 32,800 to 263,900.

The biggest changes were in departures to:

  • Australia (up 8,200)
  • Fiji (up 7,900)
  • China (up 2,600)
  • Thailand (up 1,500).

Permanent and long-term arrivals were relatively unchanged at 11,700.

Permanent and long-term departures were up 300 to 4,100.

Seasonally adjusted figures showed a net gain of 5,600 migrants.

In the October 2017 year compared with the October 2016 year:

  • visitor arrivals numbered 3.69 million, up 270,500 (8 percent)
  • New Zealand residents departed on 2.83 million trips overseas, up 271,800 (11 percent)
  • permanent and long-term arrivals were 131,600, up 5,500 (4 percent)
  • permanent and long-term departures were 61,000, up 5,100 (9 percent)
  • the net gain in migrants was 70,700, up 400.

Outcomes-based measure of migration

In May 2017, Stats NZ introduced a new measure of migration, known as the 12/16-month rule, that identifies an individual’s migrant status after we observe their travel history and their length of stay in New Zealand over a 16-month follow-up period. This measure provides a clearer picture of migration patterns in New Zealand, and is compatible with the Australian measure of migration.

The traditional method of classifying permanent and long-term (PLT) migrants relies on arrival and departure cards, using passengers' stated intention on the cards to determine their migrant status. If a passenger states they intend to stay in New Zealand for a year or more, they are classified as a migrant.

In the year ended June 2016, net migration as defined by the outcomes-based migration measure was 65,100, compared with 69,100 as defined by the permanent and long-term (PLT) migration measure. June 2016 is the most recently available period for outcomes-based migration due to the 17-month lag in producing migration figures by the 12/16-month rule.

International Travel and Migration: October 2017 is the first release to include the regular outcomes-based migration series.

For more information on the 12/16-month rule, see:

Outcomes-based migration data can be accessed from Infoshare:
Subject category: Tourism
Group: International Travel and Migration

See also:

Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician
ISSN 1179-0407
22 November 2017

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