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Statistics back Immigration Minister's predictions

20 April 2001 Media Statement

Statistics back Immigration Minister's predictions

Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel's predictions of a turn-around in the permanent and long-term departures from New Zealand have been supported by today's external migration statistics.

One indication of the turn-around was Statistics New Zealand's figures showing a zero net flow in the seasonally adjusted permanent and long term arrivals and departures. This compared with a net loss of 2,630 for February.

"My responses to the January and February external migration, appear to be correct because the dramatic increase we saw during that period was clearly related to the uncertainty around the Social Security Agreement negotiations and, fears that it could affect the Trans Tasman Travel Arrangement.

"Trans-Tasman travel has not changed, and the Social Security Agreement was concluded in February with satisfactory results for both New Zealand and Australia.

"It was predicted late last year that the media speculation around the Agreement would influence the number of people leaving New Zealand permanently or long-term. This was indeed the case.

"But as predicted the numbers appear to have turned the corner again. Today's figures show that permanent and long-term departures exceeded arrivals by 1,900 last month, compared with the net outflow of 2,520 in March 2000.

"While this month's figures are no great surprise, the trend would need to continue over the next few months. However, the Government is confident this is a signal of what we said would occur when the Social Security Agreement was announced.

ENDS

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