Permanent and long-term migration to Hawke's Bay is at its highest level in more than 25 years.

Napier had a net gain of 352 people as a result of permanent and long-term migration in the year to September, according to Statistics New Zealand figures.

Napier mayor, Bill Dalton, said at their citizenship ceremony recently they had 76 new citizens.

"That is double the number of a normal ceremony, it is huge. I think it comes down to Hawke's Bay being on a roll economically."


Hastings had a net gain of 241, Wairoa of 30 and Central Hawke's Bay of 53.

Wairoa mayor, Craig Little, said it was great news, as Wairoa had previously been declining by one per cent every year over the last 25 years.

"I think more people are coming now, as it is a lot cheaper to live here and they have got everything at their finger tips. The lifestyle is great they can go from the sea in the morning to the Te Urewera National Park by the evening," Mr Little said.

The net gain for each of the four districts was at its highest level in more than 25 years.

Multicultural Association Hawke's Bay president, Rizwaana Latiff, said she'd been seeing more international migrants coming to the region over the past few years.

Indika Pinnawala, 30, made the big move from Sri Lanka with his wife Anne Sampayage to Hastings last year.

"We were told by an agency in Sri Lanka that Hawke's Bay was good for studying and living so we made the decision to come here."

Mr Pinnawala attends FutureCOL in Hastings studying cookery and also has a part-time job at Elephant Hill Winery.

"The college has been really good for cookery and studying and Hastings has been great. It is not as busy like the main cities, everyone is so friendly and the cost of living is cheaper."

Ms Sampayage, is pregnant and they plan to raise their child in Hawke's Bay.

"When my studies finish next month I plan to apply for a work visa so I can work full time, that is our future plan. We do not plan to leave anytime soon, it is too good here."

Ms Latiff said the lifestyle, educational institutes and job opportunities were attracting people like Mr Pinnawala to Hawke's Bay.

Many were coming from India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, filling jobs as chefs, nurses and in the IT industry.

Mr Dalton said a lot of people were finally waking up to the fact that Hawke's Bay was a really attractive destination.

"I had a meeting just this morning and people are really keen to move their businesses to Hawke's Bay and are looking in to how they can. More people are dissatisfied with the big cities and realise we are on a roll."

Ms Latiff said the Hawke's Bay weather was another drawcard of the region.

Mr Pinnawala agreed and said the climate here had been really good for them.

"There is not a lot of wind and you get warm sunny days."

NZ Association for Migration and Investment chief executive June Ranson said the cost of housing in Auckland would have been part of the reason for the increase in migration to the regions and more work was becoming available and people had more money to spend.

Ms Ranson said the regions had been suffering with vacant jobs and migrants were able to fill them.

"These migrants are actually providing a benefit to the economy by paying their taxes."