Immigration into New Zealand continued at record levels in February, prompting opposition lawmakers to claim that the numbers are unsustainable, the government statistics agency said on Tuesday.
Population statistics senior manager, Peter Dolan said in February that a net 71,300 migrants arrived in the country.
According to New Zealand Statistics, this equaled the previous annual record set in January.
Report says migrant arrivals numbered 128,800 in February, in a new annual record, while migrant departures were 57,500.
“About a third of all migrant arrivals for the year were people coming to New Zealand on work visas.
“Just over a quarter of all work-visa migrants were from the United Kingdom and France,’’ Dolan said.
The next largest sources of migrants coming to New Zealand to work were from Germany, Australia, South Africa, and the U.S.
The opposition New Zealand First party said the government had ignored advice from the Treasury and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to rein in immigration numbers to “realistic and sustainable” levels”.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said in a statement that ordinary New Zealanders were getting “fed up” with the unsustainable levels of immigration.
“They are realising thousands of migrants, many of whom are low-skilled and desperate to get here, artificially pump up the economy and help to create a bogus surplus.
“More than 91,000 young New Zealanders were jobless and were not in training or education and the numbers had worsened,’’ Peters said.