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No Surprise In Migration Figures

6 March 2001 Media Statement

Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel said that the January migration statistics should come as no surprise.

"It was predicted some time ago that the number of people leaving the country long-term or permanently would increase, ahead of the recent announcement of a new social security agreement with Australia.

"Media speculation at the end of last year around the potential impacts of negotiations created a climate of uncertainty about the future of trans-Transtasman arrangements. Now that the agreement has been concluded and the trans-Tasman travel arrangement remains in tact, the pressure on outward departures to Australia will be relieved.

"It is in fact, little wonder that skilled people have been leaving New Zealand as years of wage and income suppression under the National-led governments made the opportunities across the Tasman look very attractive.

"The figures suggest New Zealand is becoming a more attractice place to live and work. The permanent and long term arrival statistics show 8020 permanent/long-term arrivals in January 2001 compared with 6953 in January 2000. The figures also show that permanent and long term arrivals over the year to January 2001 increased by 3841, on the previous year.

"These figures are in line with increased levels of permanent resident approvals which are tracking to exceed the migrant target this year.

"The Labour-Alliance government has policies to create a more skilled, creative and enterprising country – such as the announcement on 9 February that the government aims to increase the annual number of business and skilled migrants approved to enter New Zealand to 27,000 a year."


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