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February External Migration

21 March 2001 Media Statement

February External Migration

The external migration figures for the month of February have reinforced earlier indications that an increasing number of New Zealanders crossed the Tasman ahead of last month's social security agreement with Australia.

Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel said she had stated earlier this month that the number of people leaving the country long-term or permanently was always expected to increase prior to the new social security agreement being announced on February 26.

"Media speculation around the future of the Trans-Tasman travel arrangements created a climate of uncertainty.

"In fact the External Migration report released by Statistics NZ today points to the uncertainty around the social security issue as a contributing factor to the increase," Lianne Dalziel said.

"The Statistics New Zealand figures show that the net outflow to Australia from December 2000 to February 2001 was 5,030 more than for the three months ending February 2000.

"I am pleased however, that the increase in departures (net outflow of 2,530 in February 2001, compared with net outflow of 1,740 in January 2001) has been partially offset by a 1,410 increase in arrivals.

"A total of 7,164 permanent and long term arrivals during February 2001 can be compared with 5,758 in February 2000 and 4,948 in February 1999. This reinforces my view that New Zealand is still considered an attractive place to live and work.

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

ENDS

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