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Relaxed lifestyle draws migrants to New Zealand

Embargoed until 10:45am – 19 May 2008

Relaxed lifestyle draws migrants to New Zealand

The relaxed pace of life or lifestyle had been identified as the most common reason for permanent migrants to choose New Zealand as their new home, Statistics New Zealand said today. The results of the first wave of interviews in the Longitudinal Immigration Survey: New Zealand (LisNZ) suggests that after lifestyle (at 44.1 percent), the climate or clean, green environment (39.6 percent) and the desire to provide a better future for their children (39.0 percent) came second and third, respectively, as the most common reasons to choose New Zealand.

Six months after gaining permanent residence, 92.5 percent of migrants indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with life in New Zealand. Nearly the same percentage (92.2 percent) reported that they plan to stay in New Zealand for three years or more while 5.4 percent were not sure at that point in time.

Most migrants (85.7 percent) had spent time in New Zealand prior to gaining permanent residence and over half (54.6 percent) had been employed in New Zealand before. At the time of the interview, 94.9 percent of skilled principal migrants were in the labour force. Less than two percent (1.9) of skilled principal migrants in the labour force were seeking work. For those who reported difficulties in finding employment the most commonly reported obstacle was lack of New Zealand work experience (17.5 percent). Most migrants (69.2 percent) however, reported that they did not experience difficulties in finding work.

Permanent migrants generally had a high level of English language ability (86.5 percent), either reporting English as the language they speak best (59.3 percent) or having good or very good English language skills (27.2 percent).

Sixty-seven percent (67.0) of migrants aged 16 years and over held a post-school qualification, and nearly half (47.4 percent) held an advanced vocational qualification or university degree. These numbers are higher for skilled migrants at 80.1 percent and 58.1 percent, respectively.

Geoff Bascand
Government Statistician
19 May 2008


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