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New Zealand immigration levels are continuing to soar, with net migration levels hitting an all time high in March. According to the latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand, the country gained 56,275 migrants in the year to March 2015 – 75 per cent (or 31,914) more than the figure recorded in the same period a year earlier. The rise in migrant levels has been driven by a combination of an influx of international students, especially from India and China, and fewer Kiwis leaving for Australia in search of work. New Zealand had a net loss of 2,300 people to Australia in the year through to March, compared with a loss of 2,500 people a year earlier – the smallest net loss to Australia since March 1992 It was the eighth consecutive month that the annual record for New Zealand net migration has been broken, and many experts believe that the level will have risen higher by the end of the year. “There was nothing in today’s data to change our view that annual net immigration will approach 60,000 later this year,” said Westpac Banking Corp senior economist Felix Delbruck said in a statement yesterday. “New Zealand’s construction-fuelled economic upturn is continuing to draw in foreign workers in historically very large numbers. And the inflow of international students remains high,” he added

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What’s more, the number of short-term visitors to New Zealand also rose 15 percent, to 291,784 in March compared with the year earlier period – a new record high for March. According to population statistics manager Vina Cullum, there were some underlying reasons for the record visitor arrival figures. “Visitor numbers in March 2015 were boosted by the Cricket World Cup, and the earlier timing of Easter and overseas school holidays compared with 2014,” she explained. . “Although Good Friday fell on 3 April this year, travel generally increases several days before the start of holiday periods.”

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