Close
 

What increased migration means for New Zealand's towns and cities

  • Opinion
  • May 17, 2016
  • John Polkinghorne
What increased migration means for New Zealand's towns and cities

Migration dominated population growth in 2015

New Zealand’s immigration boom continues to break records and we have been following its progress with interest. The net migration into the country in 2015 was 65,000 people, the highest it had ever been. It’s a figure that made our natural increase (births minus deaths) of 28,000 people look rather tame by comparison. Given that in a typical year, we would have only had around 12,000 net migrants it’s quite astonishing!

Migrants, or just students?

Realistically, these migration figures are not quite what they appear as they group permanent movements together with long-term ones. Everyone who plans to live in (or leave) the country for more than one year is categorised as a migrant for these purposes, so this includes international students on multi-year courses. International students have been a big driver of the current boom, although there are certainly other factors in play: More ex-pat Kiwis moving home, more people entering on work Visas, etc.

The dark side of education

International education is good for the country. It’s a major export, it strengthens our overseas networks and some students may eventually become proud Kiwis themselves. However, the boom starts to look a bit shaky when the New Zealand Herald is suggesting that there is widespread fraud among student visa applicants from India, and half of the 21,000 applications in the last 10 months have been declined. With headlines like these added to cases of students being paid a fraction of the minimum wage to work in restaurants and other businesses, the government may take a harder look at Visa and immigration requirements.

These issues could damage our reputation, and make the country less attractive to legitimate students. The international education industry has been prone to boom-bust dynamics in the past. We’d be better with a smaller industry that is stable and well-respected than with something built on dodgy foundations. So, setting aside these concerns, what are the impacts of the current migration boom, and what will happen if it dries up?

The impact differs by region

Most new migrants choose to base themselves in Auckland, whether they are here to study, or to work and settle down. The arrival of some 40,000 new migrants into Auckland in just one year has had many flow-on effects in a city of 1.6 million. We’ve touched on these effects in a couple of previous NiB articles; retailers and property developers will benefit, and house prices are being pushed up.

Many Aucklanders are also being ‘pushed out’; either despairing of ever being able to get on the property ladder, or cashing in their chips if they already had a home in the city. As we’ve noted previously, this is speeding up Auckland’s evolution into a more multicultural city, and the people moving out of the city will help to reinvigorate the regions. These changes were already underway, although they’ve probably been sped up as a result.

If the migration boom ends - and it inevitably will - we expect these changes will continue, but at a slower pace. It may even take some of the hot air out of the Auckland property market! Even if the international education market stabilises at its current high level, it will eventually stop boosting our migration numbers; the number of students coming in each year will equal the number going out. This will happen sooner or later.

As for other migration, this could stay high for some time to come – but, just as easily, it could turn around very quickly. The history of New Zealand migration actually looks just as “boom-bust” as our education industry: the migration numbers depend on economic prospects in NZ, in Australia, and on a host of other factors. We’re obviously looking like a desirable place to live at the moment, but it can’t hurt to have a plan in case that changes.

John Polkinghorne is the associate director of RCG, a property, design and research agency. This was republished from RCG's blog.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 
Sponsored content

How eCard Solutions is boosting sustainability with recyclable gift cards

Consumers, for some time now, have been looking at their consumption of plastic. Single-use plastic shopping bags were banned in New Zealand during July 2019 ...

 
 

My feet and I are begging Ziera to pull through

  • Opinion
  • October 4, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
My feet and I are begging Ziera to pull through

New Zealand heritage footwear retailer Ziera has gone into voluntary receivership. NZ Retail and The Register editor and associate publisher Sarah Dunn considers its place in the market and what needs to happen for it to return to form.

Read more
 
 

Genoapay enjoys strong growth in New Zealand

  • News
  • October 3, 2019
  • The Register team
Genoapay enjoys strong growth in New Zealand

As buy now pay later services continue to grow in popularity, Latitude Financial has announced that its digital payments platform Genoapay has partnered with 26 merchants.

Read more
 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 

Hallenstein Glassons posts $29m profit for the year

  • News
  • October 3, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Hallenstein Glassons posts $29m profit for the year

Hallenstein Glassons has had a modest lift in sales and profits, helped by growth in Australia and online sales.

Read more
 
 

Five things companies should consider before they scale up

  • Opinion
  • October 3, 2019
  • Ben Kepes
Five things companies should consider before they scale up

Ben Kepes is a technology analyst, commentator and consultant. His commentary has been widely published in such outlets as Forbes, Wired and The Guardian, while he has also been an investor in a large number of early-stage technology start-ups across three continents and has had successful exits to listed and privately held companies in Canada, the US, and the UK. He currently sits on the boards of a number of non-profit, privately held and listed companies in New Zealand and the UK and has won a number of accolades, including being a recipient of the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award in 2016. Here, he shares five things companies should consider before they scale up.

Read more
 

Countdown celebrates its top suppliers

  • News
  • October 3, 2019
  • The Register team
Countdown celebrates its top suppliers

In its annual supplier awards this week, Countdown has highlighted its top suppliers.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}