THE lure of the lucky country appears to be losing its charm for New Zealanders.
The number of Kiwis jumping the ditch has slowed to its smallest monthly pace in almost three years as Australia’s economic woes begin to bite and New Zealand’s economy recovers, with the rebuild from the Christchurch earthquakes gathering pace.
New Zealand’s net migration loss of 1860 across the Tasman in May was the smallest since July 2010.
And overall the number of migrants arriving in New Zealand more than made up for those leaving, with 1740 more arrivals than departures providing the highest gain since January 2010.
Figures from Statistics New Zealand also reveal the annual figures following a similar trend, with a fall of 6760 in Australia-bound migrants in the year to May.
Over the 12 months 32,862 left for a new life in Australia.
Meanwhile, more visitors arrived in New Zealand last month than in any previous May, with 153,034 landing – up more than 12,000 on a year earlier.
“The latest visitor number was easily the highest ever for a May month,” Statistics NZ’s Andrea Blackburn said.
Arrivals from Australia drove the increase with 7952 more making the journey compared to a year earlier and 3904 more Chinese also arriving.
The number of visitors on an annual basis was 2.63 million, up 0.5 per cent on the previous year.