By Esther Goh,July 21, 2011
Net outflow of permanent and long-term 3100 migrants to Australia was up from 1800 in June 2010, and the highest June total since 1981, Statistics New Zealand revealed.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, there was an overall net outflow of 300 PLT departures.

Government statistician Geoff Bascand says net migration has been negative since March, when departures from Christchurch jumped following the February 22 .

Departures of Christchurch residents numbered 600, up from 500 in the same timeframe last year. Between March and May 2011, departures from Christchurch were almost double those in the same months in 2010.

New Zealand had a net migration gain of 3,900 in the year ended June 2011, down from 16,500 the previous year and below the average annual net migration gain of 12,000 over the last 20 years. The decrease in net migration, compared with 2010, was mainly due to an increase in departures to Australia.

Tourism numbers also palled, due mainly to the Chilean ash cloud which disrupted flights both in and out of New Zealand.

In what Statistics New Zealand says was a “challenging” month, international arrivals fell 10 percent in June to 131,269 when compared to the same month in 2010.

June arrivals fell in key markets including Australia (down 14.9 per cent), UK (down 19.1 per cent) and US (down 9.7 per cent), while China (up 22.5 per cent), Malaysia (up 47.1 per cent) and Singapore (up 18.6 per cent) maintained their growth on the back of increased aviation links. June arrivals from Germany were also up 13.2 per cent.

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler says the decline in arrivals from our top three visitor markets was disappointing but not unexpected.

“Given the Trans-Tasman flight disruption caused by the Chilean ash cloud from 12 June and the late start to our snow season, the Australian figures do not come as a surprise.