Permanent and long term migration: the big picture
The monthly release of New Zealand's permanent and long term migration figures typically attracts intense public interest - the focus usually being on the flow of New Zealanders to Australia. The purpose of this paper is to give the broader context in which migration takes place and identifies two aspects that are crucial to the discussion of New Zealand's migration flows. First, permanent and long term migration to and from New Zealand has followed a cyclical pattern over the last 60 years and current patterns are consistent with the long term trends. Second, New Zealand's population growth provides context to the relative size of migration flows to and from New Zealand but is often overlooked. This paper shows that when population size is considered, Trans-Tasman departures relative to New Zealand's population are lower now than they were in the 1970s.