Kiwis' stampede to Australia slows for first time in 2 years in May 22 Jun 2012
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By Hannah Lynch
June 22 (BusinessDesk) - The net outflow of kiwis moving permanently to Australia for a better life slowed in May, with the first monthly decline since April 2010.
There was a net loss of 3,200 migrants to Australia last month, down from a net outflow of 3,300 in May 2011, the first time the monthly net loss has declined since April 2010, according to Statistics New Zealand. The annual net loss eased back to 39,600 in May from 39,800 in April.
Total migration for May for all countries was a loss of 1,800, down from 2,100 a year earlier. The annual net loss was 3,700.
People have been quitting New Zealand for Australia for years as they seek higher wages and a better standard of living, creating a political issue for the National government, which has vowed to reverse the trend. Figures this week showing the New Zealand economy grew 1.1 percent in the first quarter, closing in on Australias growth of 1.3 percent, which may hint that the appeal of migrating will abate.
The report also showed the exodus from Christchurch has slowed.
"After the February 2011 earthquake, 800 Christchurch residents moved overseas in May 2011," Statistics NZ said. "500 Christchurch residents moved overseas in May 2012, the same as in May 2010."
Some, 400 migrants settled in Christchurch last month, up from 100 a year earlier.
On an annual basis, the number of short-term visitor arrivals rose 1 percent to 140,800, with a 51 percent increase in visitors from China to 12,900, the highest-ever.
Visitors from Japan rose 20 percent to 3,000, showing a partial recovery toward the May 2010 level of 5,300 visitors after Japan's own earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
Overseas trips by New Zealand residents fell by 2,500 to 179,300, when compared with a year earlier.
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