There was a drop in the number of overseas visitors from Asia in June, with the number of arrivals from China down by more than 3 per cent.

Today's data show annual visitors rose 2.7 per cent to 3.9 million people in the 12 months to June 30. It was the slowest annual growth in a June year since 2013 and is well down from a peak of 11 per cent in the year to June 2016, Stats NZ said.

The Asia downturn was offset by an increase from the US and Australia.

About 213,536 short-term visitors arrived in New Zealand in June, up 0.6 per cent on the year, Stats NZ said.


In June the number of Chinese visitors fell 3.1 per cent to 18,334. There were 100,648 Australian visitors in June, up 1.9 per cent on the year, while visitors from the United States rose 10.5 per cent to 19,996.

"We had fewer visitors from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Hong Kong, but more from Taiwan. Air New Zealand introduced a direct flight to Taiwan in November 2018," population indicators manager Tehseen Islam said.

Malaysian visitor numbers fell 44 per cent on the year in June while 20.1 per cent fewer Indonesians visited New Zealand. There were 33 per cent fewer visitors from Hong Kong. However, there were 61.3 per cent more visitors from Taiwan.

Australians made up the biggest source of international visitors at 1.51 million for the 12 months through June, up 2.9 per cent, while China was second at 421,113, down 6.2 per cent on the year.

This year is the New Zealand-China Year of Tourism, aimed at promoting travel between the two countries.

The Government has said that there are no problems with the New Zealand-China relationship that could be pushing down tourist numbers but it says other factors such as trade tension between the US and China is affecting travel overseas.

People from the US were the third-biggest source for tourists at 366,972, up 8.8 per cent on the year.

Stats NZ also released its provisional migration numbers for June, which estimated a net 1199 people migrated to New Zealand that month, down from a net 2028 a year earlier. That took the provisional annual net migration figure to 49,427 in June from 48,918 a year earlier.


The provisional 12-month figure may be adjusted higher or lower by about 1400, the agency said.

Stats NZ formally changed the way it measures migration in November when it stopped using arrival and departure cards travellers used to have to complete.

It said the card-based data hadn't been accurate because it only captured travellers' intentions and not what actually happened.

The net migration inflow for May was revised to 1525 from a previous estimate of 1690, while the annual figure was lowered to 50,256 from an initial estimate of 50,541.