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More Arrivals Than Departures In November

Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel says she is pleased with the net migration gain for November which was announced by Statistics New Zealand today.

"The net migration gain for last month was 840 and although this is down on November 1999, Statistics New Zealand has identified the difference as the non-return of New Zealand residents (down 770 over the year).

"In terms of the migration figures to the year ending November, the 6 percent increase in long term departures is made up for with the 7 percent increase in long term arrivals."

"Marie Hasler's interpretation of the latest statistics is an attempted media beat-up and a bit of bah humbug to boot because she knows full well that New Zealand had the worst November figures in 1997 when National was in Government.

"Her claims about the data on people leaving the country is hardly robust. The seasonally-adjusted figures actually show that departures are lower than for the previous four months, and these departure levels have been relatively steady over the past year.

"It is clear that New Zealanders are still feeling the impact of the level of student debt accumulated under a National government. As you would expect around this time of year people are completing their degrees, and heading off-shore to either delay their obligations to repay their student loans, or to seek better incomes to assist in repayments.

"It's also wrong to assume that those leaving New Zealand are only the likes of managers and administrators. In actual fact we can't tell what the occupations were for more than half of those departing because they either didn't fill in that part of the departure card or it was illegible.

"Departure figures also reflect the way New Zealanders are living. Many are getting married later, having children later, and travelling abroad for longer."

Ends

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