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Visitor Arrivals Up 14 Percent

External Migration: March 2002

There were 202,500 short-term overseas visitor arrivals in New Zealand in March 2002, up 25,600 or 14 percent on March 2001, according to Statistics New Zealand. This was the first March month with more than 200,000 short-term visitor arrivals. Part of this increase may be due to the Easter holidays (which started at the end of March in 2002, but which fell in the middle of April in 2001). The United Kingdom (up 9,000) made the largest contribution to the increase, followed by Australia (up 4,800), the United States (up 2,100), Japan (up 1,900) and China and Korea (both up 1,700).

In the year ended March 2002, there were 1.955 million visitor arrivals, up 106,000 or 6 percent on the previous March year. In addition to Australia (up 41,100), other major contributors to this increase were Korea (up 22,600), China (up 20,600) and the United Kingdom (up 16,700).

Seasonally adjusted visitor arrivals increased by 13 percent between February and March 2002. This follows a 1 percent drop from January to February 2002.

New Zealand residents departed on 101,200 short-term overseas trips in March 2002, up 10,500 or 12 percent on March 2001. This was the first monthly increase since September 2001 and may also be due, in part, to the Easter holidays. There were more departures to Australia (up 3,600), Fiji (up 1,300), China (up 1,100), Thailand and Hong Kong (both up 700), Indonesia (up 600) and Malaysia (up 500), but fewer departures to the United States (down 500).

In the year ended March 2002, New Zealand resident short-term departures numbered 1.287 million, down 8,000 or 1 percent on the year ended March 2001.

In the month of March 2002, permanent and long-term (PLT) arrivals exceeded departures by 1,700, compared with a net outflow of 1,900 in March 2001. This change was the result of 2,100 more arrivals and 1,600 fewer departures.

In the year ended March 2002, PLT arrivals reached a new high of 88,400, up 21,900 on the last March year. Conversely, there were 16,300 fewer PLT departures. The overall result was a net inflow of 25,600 PLT migrants in 2002, compared with a net outflow of 12,600 migrants in the previous year. There was a net outflow to Australia of 16,100 in the 2002 year ? almost half the net outflow of 31,600 in the March 2001 year. Conversely, there were net inflows from China (12,500), India (5,100), the United Kingdom (3,400), South Africa (3,100), Fiji (2,400) and Japan (2,300).

PLT arrivals of New Zealand citizens were up 3,200 (to 24,400) and non-New Zealand citizens were up by 18,700 (to 64,000) in the March 2002 year, compared with the March 2001 year. There were also PLT departures of 47,700 New Zealand citizens (down 15,800) and 15,000 non-New Zealand citizens (down 600), resulting in a net PLT outflow of 23,300 New Zealand citizens and a net PLT inflow of 49,000 non-New Zealand citizens in the March 2002 year.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

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