Fewer visitors to New Zealand in February
Embargoed until 10:45am – 21 March 2012
There were fewer visitors to New Zealand in February 2012, Statistics New Zealand said today. Overseas visitor arrivals
numbered 259,100, down 3 percent from February 2011.
"Visitor arrivals decreased despite February having an extra day this year," Population Statistics manager Andrea
Blackburn said. "The decrease was partly due to the Chinese New Year holiday period being in January in 2012 as opposed
to February in 2011."
Fewer visitors arrived from Hong Kong and China in February 2012 because of the earlier Chinese New Year. There were
also fewer visitors from the United Kingdom and Japan. More visitors arrived from Australia due to an increase in visits
by Australia-based New Zealand citizens. Visitor arrivals in the February 2012 year numbered 2.594 million, up 2 percent
from 2011. The largest annual increases in arrivals were from Australia, China, and Malaysia. New Zealand residents took
116,400 overseas trips in February 2012, up 12 percent from February 2011.
There were more trips to Australia (up 6,900) and the United States (up 1,300). In the February 2012 year, New Zealand
residents took 2.117 million overseas trips, up 4 percent from 2011.
Net loss of migrants continues
New Zealand's seasonally adjusted net loss of migrants continued in February 2012, when departures exceeded arrivals by
400 people. Net losses have been recorded in 11 of the 12 months since the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch.
Unadjusted figures showed 1,200 more departures of New Zealand citizens compared with February 2011, including 1,000
more to Australia. There were also 300 more arrivals of non-New Zealand citizens on work permits.
New Zealand had a net loss of 4,100 migrants in the February 2012 year. This is the largest net loss since the August
2001 year (4,400). In the February 2012 year, there was a net loss of 39,100 people to Australia, the highest ever
recorded. There were 53,000 departures to Australia (also a record), offset by 13,900 arrivals from Australia. In both
directions, most migrants were New Zealand citizens.
There were net gains of migrants from most other countries, led by the United Kingdom (5,300), India (5,000), and China
(4,800) in the February 2012 year.
Auckland was the only region with a net gain of international migrants (5,400) in the February 2012 year. The largest
net loss was from Canterbury (3,700), which included a net loss of 2,900 from earthquake-hit Christchurch. This compares
with a net gain of 900 migrants to Christchurch in the February 2011 year.