For the first time since the 1970s, in the year to February, “migrant departures” exceeded “migrant arrivals” among non-New Zealand citizens, new Stats NZ data reveals.
It puts the annual net migration loss of non-New Zealand citizens to 1400, made up of 22,400 arrivals and 23,800 departures.
There’s also been a net gain of 18,900 New Zealand citizens.
Population indicators manager Tehseen Islam said the trends were driven by Covid-19 border and travel restrictions.
"Although the annual net loss of non-New Zealand citizens is small, it's a significant reversal of the pattern over the last 40 years,” Islam said.
New Zealand has also seen a net gain of about 7000 people from Australia.
Migrant arrivals are overseas residents, including New Zealand citizens living overseas, that spend 12 months of the next 16 in the country after arriving.
Migrant departures are New Zealand residents, including non-New Zealand citizens living in the country, that spend 12 of the next 16 months out of the country after leaving.