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Foreigners Flocking to New Zealand, Immigration Data Show

Foreigners are flocking to New Zealand in record numbers after the nation loosened immigration rules to plug labor shortages.

A record net 98,391 non-New Zealand citizens arrived in the year through April 30, while 26,061 citizens departed, Statistics New Zealand said Tuesday in Wellington. That saw net immigration rise to 72,330, the biggest annual gain since July 2020 and up from a revised 65,755 in the 12 months through March.

New Zealand urgently needs a range of workers, from nurses and doctors to mechanics, engineers and construction staff, to ease labor shortages that became acute when the border was shut during the Covid-19 pandemic. The nation’s central bank said last month that the immigration surge reflects pent-up demand and should soon start to wane.

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