New Zealanders' exodus to Australia continued in March as more kiwis look across the Tasman for a better quality of life, even as the so-called 'lucky country' looks vulnerable to an economic slowdown.
Some 5,000 departures in the month of March left - a net loss across the Tasman of 3,928 last month, according to Statistics New Zealand. That took the annual net loss to a record 39,456, with 53,237 departures in the year ended March 31. That's continued a trend of record annual outflows to Australia since November 2011, the department said.
The overall loss of migrants in March was 1,300 for an annual outflow of 3,400. That annual figure was made up of 84,400 arrivals and 87,800 departures. On a seasonally adjusted basis, there was a net gain of 130 migrants in March, the second monthly gain since the February earthquake last year.
That was bolstered by new migrants from India, China and the Philippines.
Short-term visitor arrivals rose 11 per cent to some 240,000 in March, with a 35 per cent surge in Asian visitors. Annual visitors climbed 4.4 per cent to 2.6 million, and were bolstered by the Rugby World Cup between July and October last year.
The government is hoping to attract an extra 200,000 visitor nights from a proposed Auckland convention centre.
The deal has sparked staunch opposition, as it would see casino operator SkyCity Entertainment Group foot the $350 million tab to build and operate the venue in exchange for an extension to its gaming licence, which would let it underwrite the expense with more pokie machines.