Statistics NZ dramatically lowers immigration estimate

By Leith van Onselen

“Look mum, I’ve got a new ruler”.

Statistics New Zealand has revised the way that it measures net overseas migration (NOM). Instead of using departure cards that people filled out when leaving the country, Statistics New Zealand now uses an “outcomes-based measure”, which it claims is more efficient and accurate.

This new measure also suggests that population growth from immigration is far lower than previously thought, running at only 43,400 in the 12 months to November versus 61,800 for the 12 months to October under the old measurement system

Here’s the key extracts from the release:

The new outcomes-based measure is currently lower than the previous intentions-based measure. For the year ended October 2018, the outcomes data indicate a provisional net migration gain of 45,200 (± 1,200). In comparison, the intentions measure (permanent and long-term migration) indicated a net gain of 61,800. There have been past periods when the two measures have been close and other times when the measures have been different.

The earlier estimates for the new series are final because sufficient time has passed (16 months) to classify those migrant border crossings with certainty.

Annual net migration for the November 2018 year (43,400 (± 1,500)) is provisionally estimated to be lower than a year earlier, when it was 53,800 (± 100). This reflects an increase in migrants leaving New Zealand and continues the trend seen over the last year.

Migrant arrivals were at a similar level as for the November 2017 year.

How is it possible to have a system that is/was that inaccurate?

Given estimates of housing demand have been determined using the old (incorrect?) figure, does this now also mean that New Zealand does not have housing shortage?

Just goes to show, just about any problem can be ‘solved’ by changing the metric.

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Leith van Onselen
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  1. Hilarious…. it would be bloody obvious to check – what is the national population??? How much has it changed? Do you even know?

    So the national population has increased by >30% in three decades! So population growth is…

    • How exactly do you check what is the national population? Just have a ring around and ask a few people?
      Even the census isn’t 100% accurate and is only once a decade or so..

      • Don’t need census, you have household data from local councils. School populations, and health cards!

        The point I am trying to make above, badly, is that you can have a very close approximation. Even accounting for large portion of new immigration not yet registered on the health system, Hence the comment that the population is >4m, up from >3m three decades ago! That is massive percentage of immigration/growth rate. Because the birth rate is actually quite small, and falling…

  2. “How is it possible to have a system that is/was that inaccurate?”
    Because when you ask someone are you migrating permanently there is a significant chance they will lie either deliberately, or because the future is unknowable and circumstance changes.
    So presumably using an actual measure of the outcomes will be accurate, but delayed.

    • How do you measure “outcomes”? If I get on a plane to Australia, how do they know if I’ve moved there permanently, or am simply on an extended holiday? And likewise, how do they know that a immigrant who goes back home has left permanently, or is just going home to visit relatives? All those “departing migrants” are probably just the Chinese going home for Golden Week or something.

      • “The earlier estimates for the new series are final because sufficient time has passed (16 months) to classify those migrant border crossings with certainty.”
        Or almost certainty at any rate.

  3. The old one was accurate. The new one is how the Coalition fudges not keeping their election promise. They’ll claim the lower figures as an “achievement” come re-election time. Meanwhile, how do you measure immigration without actually knowing where people are from and how long they plan to spend in the country?

    • The issue is measuring immigration by how long people “plan” to spend in the country. In reality it is how long people actually spend in the country, not what they plan to spend that matters.

      • Quite right. That new method also cuts out those who entered the country as a Long Term Migrant and upon leaving, even if they ‘planned’ to leave permanently, didn’t want to say so, in case they couldn’t get back in if the changed their minds.
        Maybe that’s a psychological issue, but I’d wager it’s why so many people ‘came in’ and ‘didn’t leave’, even if they had!

        (NB: H/T
        “To classify a border crossing as a migrant movement, we need to observe up to 16 months of travel history. A traveller who did not live here previously is considered a long-term migrant arrival if they have spent 12 of the following 16 months in New Zealand. A traveller who previously lived in New Zealand, but who spent 12 of the next 16 months out of New Zealand is classified as a long-term migrant departure. With this new approach it takes 17 months before final migration estimates are available.”)

      • Backpackers who arrive on a 2 year working holiday visa are not long term migrants. However, a family who immigrated to NZ but for some reason went back home 18 months later should have been counted as a long term migrant, as they would have required healthcare, education, employment, housing etc to be provisioned on the basis that they were permanent. Kids who go on a one year OE post school are also not permanent departures.

      • A better metric may be to keep track of how many people are in the country at a given time. All plane and ship arrivals/departures, plus birth/death registrations, should make this readily available.

  4. I am seriously considering migrating to NZ,
    Something my family fully supports.

    To mitigate the expected (And unexpected) extremes of climate change,
    Will there be too much competition for resources?
    🥝 Kiwikaren-Your thoughts would be gratefully received.

    • If you live in the North Island you will experience all the same crap that Australia has, but the South Island is like Australia used to be 20 years ago but with way better Internet 🙂

      • I agree.
        Auckland is an overpriced inferior clone of Sydney.
        Wellington is probably the pick of it.
        Bottom of the north Island. Government centre & still HQ for lot of business there, do jobs & good services.
        Rain & fresh air. Nice 6 week summer.
        Nelson & Blenheim is at the top of the South Island are ok but small town port Macquarie boxed in feeling
        Christchurch is a building site hole.

        Dunedin too cold.

      • kiwikarynMEMBER

        Christchurch is slowly being rebuilt, and the new stuff will be a vast improvement on the old. Just enough “diversity” to be able to get a good chinese takeaway, but otherwise it retains its “most English” city designation (I think that used to refer to the gardens and buildings, but it might as well have referred to the population).

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Polynesian culture used keep resource scarcity under controll with extream tribal violence and cannibalism.
      So rest assured any scarcity that develops will be sorted out in a methodical and evolutionarily fair manner.

      Maybe learn how to wield a Mere (tear drop shaped Jade club)

      • Ermo -Your a star
        – Deep down
        I just knew that my 20th century French Cavalry Sword was not a Gentleman’s-

        Weapon of Choice

      • kiwikarynMEMBER

        Non applicable in the South Island. Here the Maori Iwi learnt the way of the colonialists early on, they now own everything and make millions of dollars a year being excellent capitalists.

    • Will there be too much competition for resources?

      Yes. You will be fighting it out with psychopaths like Peter Thiel and their personal armies.

      NZ is apparently becoming something of an international panic room for the incomprehensively wealthy.

      • It always has from the 1970’s. Virtually all the Russell Islands are own by wealthy US billionaires. Parents have a friend you stays at these massive mansions, sometimes for several years at a time! Get gets paid to, imagine that!

        BTW – from what she was saying, they (owners) are having trouble finding good people to do so. Downside is, sometimes you have to leave in a hurry, and the place has to be spotless. But if you are retired, kids have flown the coup, and you want some peace and solitude, why not???

      • kiwikarynMEMBER

        Similar situation in the Marlborough Sounds. Most of the “baches” (read 6 bedroom mansions) are only accessible by boat. Lots of nice yachts floating around as a result.

    • You’ll be in good company on the South Island — it’s the place to go for ‘preppers’. Those preparing for the end of world (climate change and other catastrophes) and those preparing for The Big Reset: a global financial cataclysm that brings down governments and drives the masses into the streets to slaughter the wealthy and the elites.

      Aside from water there are precious little in the way of resources to deplete so don’t worry about that.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Those preppers like to hoard lots of Gold.
        Could be a traget for organised crime marauders poat apocalypse.

      • Too true, Ermo. Imagine escaping being roasted alive by the sun only to be murdered and have your gold hoard stolen.

        Oh, the irony

      • kiwikarynMEMBER

        This is the best part. When the rest of the world goes to hell in a handbasket, we’ll be nice and safe at the end of the world protected by Billionaires. Its as close to Elysium as you can get LOL As for marauders, they have to be able to cross Cook Strait first!

  5. Dale SmithMEMBER

    In jurisdictions that have zoning that allows more flexibility with building out and up, then all the other issues are just noise within the system.

    It doesn’t matter so much whether the immigration figures are high or low (our even correct), or if interest rates are high or low, or economic activity is high or low, the PIR is approx. 3 to 4.

    And this is why the Price to Income Ratio (PIR) is a useful measure of true housing affordability because if the PIR is greater than 3 to 4, then it red flags there is other systematic issues with the housing market, and the research pin points the type of zoning as the most significant factor.

    Restrictive zoning causes these other issues to become an exponential negative feedback on the system, whereas Non restrictive zoning does not. And the reason for this is that Restrictive zoning confers supply monopolies on land owners and council as sole infrastructure suppliers.

    After all NZ and Australia’s severely unaffordable PIR of approx. 9x has not changed just because the Stats Dept. use differing or changed counting methodology.

      • kiwikarynMEMBER

        nope, its just that if you only get useable information 16 months late, the Labour Govt thinks they can be re-elected before anyone finds out that their immigration policies are worse than the National Governments. (as NZ has 3 year electoral terms).

  6. Australia is the NZ outlet for their immigration mistakes.

    Firstly – the Aust/ NZ SCV.
    This ‘Special Category Visa’ is indeed ‘special’.

    A visa category that means that NZ decide who they let in from the third world, in period of virtually uncontrolled NZ visa fraud & racketeering- so that after 4 years and a NZ citizenship grant, what NZ allowed in… can now freely enter Australia to live & work.

    Did the Chinese & Indians (and before that UK etc) who can’t get into Australia or have been exited, actively use NZ as a b ack door to gain entry into Australia?

    You bet. Big time.

    How many?
    Firstly the NZ SCV is just one of the many visa loopholes in the 2.4 million migrant guestworkers we have in Australia. In fact we don’t have appear to have any visa category that isn’t rorted or a racket.

    The Foreign students & partners at 672,000 in Australia (now spread across a number of visa types to mask the sheer scale of the impact) is our biggest issue.
    Despite MB’s wishful thinking, these foreign students & partners are long stay, very long stay / up to 9 years in course changes, visa churn & appeals is not unusual. Until they get the PR or exited on a criminal charge basically.
    They don’t go back unless forced, and are a net new intake volume of about 8% year to year growth. (+48,000 in the last year)
    90% are in Sydney & Melbourne.
    87% are adult working age & of third world origin. 75% or 505,000 work illegally in addition to legal work rights – (Syd Uni & UTS studies). So they are the #1 issue.

    The NZ SCV at 687,000 in Australia is a slightly bigger number but are 2 very distinct groups with different flows.

    63% or 434,000 are NZ born. (NZ Stats)
    These NZ born came in waves since the 1980’s, they do assimilate, they do have an average or higher incomes, high work force participation & a tax contribution.
    This number is slowly eroding, less NZ born are coming into Australia as a ratio and the 1980 onward waves of NZ born in Australia are either taking up Australia citizenship or going back to NZ (cash out their Aust super permanent departure to get the NZ pension, welfare & health care)

    37% or 260,000 on the NZ SCV in Australia are quite different. They are non NZ born. (NZ Dept of Statistics) and only stayed in NZ for a short period to then gain entry into Australia via the SCV.
    They have very poor assimilation, lower incomes, low (legal) work force participation, low tax contribution.

    The non NZ born SCV in Australia 10 years ago was about 11% non NZ born, 33,000 of 310,000, mostly UK origin, islanders & some early b ack door Chinese.

    Now it’s 37% of 690k or 260,000.
    So putting aside the NZ born, the non NZ born via the NZ SCV category is the fastest growing & our 2nd largest intake of third world born non assimilating & unskilled. And that’s a direct correlation to the lax & non existent border & visa controls NZ had in the past years when they originally entered NZ.

    The third world queue in NZ for entry into Australia is scary stuff.
    There are over 200,000 non NZ born in NZ (last 5 years NZ intake) in the queue.
    These are primarily Indian or Asians who entered NZ on fake doc (over half found fraudulent) as fake students or business sponsor / family reunion & all the other fraud & to work illegally. NZ even 2 years ago was wide open, virtually no controls on what came in.

    On trend a large ratio, say 180,000 of those now in NS queued up for NZ citizenship will also enter Australia.

    So if nothing is done, then the trend will be something like 800,000 NZ SCV in Australia in 4 years time, with nearly 500,000 those as third world origin non NZ born, plus their additional dependents birth rate, family sponsored.

    Australia is NZ’s outlet for its migration mistakes.

    We do not distinguish between a NZ born or a recent migrant granted NZ citizenship in what then enters Australia.
    Many of these migrants would not be able to enter Australia on any other visa (too old, not working, criminal history, fraudulent identity, poor character etc)
    But once they get the NZ citizenship & they can enter Australia to work & live here legally.

    That’s why it’s the called the NZ b ack door.

    Ask yourself: when was the last time you saw or heard the mangled dulcet vowels of a young NZ born or couple coming into Australia to start a new life?
    It used to be common, now it’s very rare.

    What gets off the plane from NZ into Sydney or Melbourne is now Indian, Fiji Indian, Chinese, Malay or Middle Eastern family who have ‘done the NZ transit stay’ and are here for good on a SCV.

    The answer is to restrict the Aust / NZ SCV to Australian & NZ born only.

    All non NZ born on a seperate visa category, not given any work rights and only short term stay visas.

    The idea of the SCV was Aust / NZ citizen access.
    Making it Aust / NZ citizen born only is both ethical and shuts down the Trans-Tasman migrant trafficking trade overnight. It blocks the 200,000 third world unskilled now queued up in NZ waiting to enter Australia via this well trodden path & trafficking racket.

    It also stops the third world migrant inflow into NZ overnight & all the attendant issues they have in being a transit stop.

    Many of those third world passport shoppers in NZ will also exit back to their country of origin or somewhere else. They never intended NZ to be their end destination.

    Final word.
    Winston Peters himself stated this.
    He said –
    “NZ only exports 2 things, milk powder to the Chinese & passports to the third world to get into Australia.” His words.

    He said he “would make a national apology on behalf of NZ to Australia for this”.

    But as the deal maker & now foreign minister in the current government, he has done nothing.

    NZ is m just going to slightly restrict their intake, and let their migrant burden & overshoot leak off into Australia by giving them citizenship knowing they will leave to enter Australia on the SCV.

    And fair enough / why would NZ want to be stuck with nearly quarter of a million of third world origin unskilled burden overshoot – when they can just flow it out to Australia simply by giving them a citizenship & a passport stamp?
    It’s up to Australians & Australia to force the issue on changing this SCV Visa category & entitlement to be Australia & New Zealand born adults only.

    • kiwikarynMEMBER

      You forgot the refugees. NZ takes all the ones Australia refuses to, gets to look good on the world stage so the PMs can get fancy jobs at the UN when finished being PM, and we get to ship them back to Australia anyway. #winning

  7. Yep, that too.
    The Somalian & Sudanese or East Asian war criminals before them who paid the bribes to be at the front of the UNHCR queue. The Aghan who are repackaged Pakistani pathological killers. The Middle Eastern jihadi & the absolute detritus & amoral who couldn’t get into Australia directly, – NZ as the transit zone.
    Plus the criminal / repackaged Chinese / Pacific Islands passport buyers & the subversives & social cleansing of the Fiji Indians & others. All that.

    🔹The proof being that NZ is globally renowned as the ‘default’ option if the third world migrant / criminals can’t get into Australia or have been exited.
    The simple point is this.
    🔹About 80% of the foreign born temporary resident migrants (TR equivalent) & NZ refugee grants who enter NZ then eventually enter Australia. For many Australia was always their goal and intention in entering NZ in the first place.
    🔹NZ has a limited capacity & swings in employment, and being small, some controls & normal NZ nosiness in close observation & resistance to this.
    Australia exists much as a deeper capacity employment with a vastly bigger migrant run underground & black market sub economy that is ignored/encouraged/actively supported by the migrant lobbyists & political parties.
    The NZ migrant intake, like Australia is primarily third world unskilled / lower socio economic & poorly assimilating & arguably even of lower morality & fraudulent.
    So Australia becomes attractive to them in fraud, cash economy/ black market employment & also being part of a larger ethnic enclave in Australia (Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, African etc) where they don’t have to assimilate or face any inspection in being part of this much larger foreign run migrant cash & black market economy.

    ➡️ There is already 38% or 260,000 of the 690,000 NZ SCV in Australia that are non NZ born third world unskilled migrants.
    They aren’t going back to NZ unless forced.

    There is a remaining pool of about a quarter of a milliiion unskilled third world migrant in NZ with NZ citizenship or pending (next 4 years) that will also flow out into Australia.
    So in 5 years that’s a NZ SCV in Australia of some 800-900,000 in Australia in the next 5 years, with only 250,000 or so genuine NZ born (who are slowly going back to NZ) and the other 500,000 being third world ammoral / criminal / unskilled low quality that NZ allowed in & being let flow into Australia as the outlet.
    Our fastest growing third world unskilled migrant intake category. And I would argue perhaps as low quality and ammoral as our other migrant intakes.

    The SCV arrangement of free movement & work rights between Australia & New Zealand was predicated on both countries acting in each other’s interest in border control & immigrant quality.

    That’s clearly not the case anymore allowing in NZ to perhaps get the front loaded ‘benefit’ of a migrant intake (cheap labour, housing stimulus, gdp increase albeit lowering gdp per Capita – but then disposing of their migrant long term social & economic burden into Australia.