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New Zealand's population growth from migration reached 68,100 in the year (achieving a new record from April 2015 to April 2016), continuing the trend of increased overall migration to the country.

According to Statistics New Zealand, 124,669 people arrived on a permanent or long term basis in the year to April, while 56,559 people left on a long term/permanent basis, leaving a net migration gain of 68,100 for the year.

About a quarter of the new arrivals were New Zealand citizens returning to the country, Statistics New Zealand said.

The recent trend for arrivals from Australia outnumbering departures across the Tasman sea continued, with a net gain of 5,614 people from Australia in the year to April.

The countries with the largest migration flows were India (12,218 people in the year to April), China and Hong Kong (10,353), the Philippines (5,151), the UK (3,891), France (3,112), and South Africa (2,730).

The biggest category of new arrivals by visa type in the year to April were those arriving on work visas (38,825), followed by New Zealand and Australian citizens (36,475), student visas (27,645), and residency visas (15,058).

Interestingly, Auckland remains the destination of choice for most migrants, with figures showing population growth in the city increasing by at least 31,582 from migration in the year to March. 

However, ASB economist, Daniel Snowdown, warned there was some evidence migration inflows could be close to peaking:

"There's no denying that net migration is at very high levels, but whether we see it continuing to rise from these rates, the April data suggests that perhaps we are getting closer to a peak", he said.

The number of tourists to New Zealand also reached a new record for April, accumulating nearly 260,000 visitors. Visitor arrivals were up 8 percent from April 2015, while New Zealanders went on 2.44 million trips overseas in the past year, with more visits to Australia, Fiji, and the United Kingdom being recorded.

Commenting on New Zealand's recent migration boom, Treasury secretary Gabriel Makhlouf stated: 

We assume that net migration will return to some average by 2017/18, but we will have to look at that again and just kind of decide how realistic it is. At the moment, it’s showing no signs of abating.” 

Westpac chief economist, Dominick Stephens, also stated that annual net migration will likely pass 70,000 by June, taking the population growth rate to a post-1974 high of 2.1%, ranking New Zealand's population growth rate second for advanced economies, after Luxembourg at 2.4%.

Strong migration is a good problem for the economy to have” said New Zealand's Finance ­Minister, Bill English. “The opposite can mean the economy isn’t doing well compared with others.

The economy expanded at a faster rate than expected in the final quarter of 2015 (at 2.3%), with population growth from record migration ­helping to boost spending and private-sector profits. As the Australian economy slowed in line with a weaker mining sector, New Zealanders were less inclined to move across the Tasman. Consequentially, both New Zealanders and Australians made the move back to the land of the long white cloud.

However, the increased migration levels will likely require the government to assess whether it is a short-term or long term trend that will potentially require more investment in infrastructure, such as schools, hospitals and housing. 

Whenever you are going through 2% population growth, you have challenges in a lot of infra­structure” said Treasury deputy secretary, Brendon Doyle. "Migration brings the Government extra revenue to invest in more infrastructure, but there’s a challenge around timing".

In the short term, it increases pressure in areas such as Auckland, where half of new migrants have settled. The latest data shows Auckland’s average house value rose 17% in the past year, hovering at just under $1 million in spite of regulation aimed at slowing demand and increasing supply.

Four years ago, Auckland Council calculated the likely housing shortfall and concluded that it required 46,000 new homes by the end of 2014. However, from 2012 to 2014, only 14,052 dwellings were ­consented. At present, the Treasury does not have a view of the country’s ideal population size, but believes it can accommodate more people while still benefiting living standards and maintaining the natural habitat that attracts many tourists and residents.

Government officials have also been observant of economic signals, and point to labour market indicators as a sign that migration hasn’t swamped business demand.

Unemployment in New Zealand has fallen to 5.3%, and 175,000 jobs have been created in the past three years, with the average wage rising by 3.1% in the past year (considerably more than the cost of living increase of 0.1%).

In addition, according to economic think-tanks, gains from the boom are expected to be felt for years, as connections forged between new migrants and their home countries are strengthened, delivering future ­benefits to trade and international relations.

[Image Attribution]: New Zealand Sign - Eagle Migration Services | Auckland - Discover Auckland


Our campaign has reached a significant milestone today, as the Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Alexander Downer, has pledged his support for free movement between Australia and the UK.

Speaking exclusively to Sky News Australia, he said:

"Over time we would like to continue to talk to the British Government about arrangements we could make to liberalise movement between Australia and the UK, if not have completely free movement - probably not completely unregulated but to have freer movement of people."

He also emphasised that diplomatic channels have been opened to make it easier for people to move between the two countries, and that he wished to see greater visa cooperation with Britain to counter the declining number of Australians working in the UK.

To view the interview, please click here.

Since 2008 there has been a 40% drop in the number of Australians working in the UK, with recent legislation meaning up to 40,000 people a year, who are from outside the EU, now face deportation if they want to settle in the UK permanently but earn less than £35,000.

Downer also stated:

"We come up against an entrenched government policy of wanting to reduce immigration numbers and they obviously can't reduce immigration numbers from the EU very easily, so they have to concentrate very heavily on non-EU migrants, and Australians get caught up in that unfortunately". 

With the UK's potential exit from the EU however, this could allow the UK to exercise governance over its own immigration policy, and gradually ease the progression of free movement within the Commonwealth.

In addition, the fact that free movement is supported at the highest levels of diplomacy is a significant advance for our campaign, and even though Alexander Downer's support does not include free movement with New Zealand and Canada at this time, it is an incredible step in the right direction and leads us closer to our goal of free movement between the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada by the end of the decade.

To email Alexander Downer and pledge your support for our free movement campaign, please click here.

For more information about our campaign and how to get involved, please email us at support@CFMO.org.


[Article provided by The Australian Times]

In 2014 alone, 38,000 people headed to Australia from the UK. Today, about 5.3% of Australian residents are British nationals.

Australia is home to around 1.3 million British Citizens according to a United Nations report, making it the number one destination for Brits to emigrate to since 1996. This is quite a significant number, considering that only a mere 135,000 Australians currently live and work in the UK.

The British Office for National Statistics tracks the number of moves from one country to the other every year and determines the motivations of the migrants. For the past 15 years, Australia has seen continuous net immigration from the UK, which has of course also affected currency flows. 

Migration from Australia to the UK has remained fairly steady, especially since 2007, but Britain potentially leaving the EU, as well as new visa policies, are creating a lot of uncertainty for Australian expats.



The economic motivations behind migration

While many Britons move to Australia under the Retirement Visa scheme, Australians predominantly come to the UK to work, study or explore Europe for a few years. Both groups generate GBP/AUD currency flows, ranging from trade to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as well as repatriation flows.

Retirees often purchase real estate in Australia, while workers tend to repatriate their earnings and savings at some point in time. Australians that have worked in the UK for longer periods of time are also likely to purchase investments such as real estate when they return home.

Whether or not they make a good deal on their Australia to UK International transactions depends on various legal, tax and trade agreements between the two nations, the prevalent economic conditions as well as the simple factor of timing.

Exchange rate fluctuations

The GBP/AUD exchange rate fluctuated significantly over the past 10 years.

The 2008 financial crisis shook the global currency market and led the Australian Dollar to soar up to a high of 2.65.

The 55,000 Britons that moved to Australia during that year and simultaneously transferred their assets were able to make a good deal, so did the returning Australian expats that repatriated their savings.

While the strong AUD in 2010-2012 made it relatively hard for British citizens to move to Australia for retirement, this development did not seem to particularly affect the number of Australian expats moving to the UK.




Australians in Britain face tougher visa rules

A new visa law that recently came into effect may force non-EU workers earning less than GBP 35,000 per year to leave the UK again.

Young Australian workers currently living in Britain may be forced to return home under this new directive. This change may affect thousands of Australians in the near future and the economic conditions of their return will be strongly influenced by the prevailing exchange rate at that point in time.

At the moment, the biggest issue for the British economy is actually a political one – the nation’s decision whether or not to remain in the EU.

The uncertainty of Brexit looms

The big upcoming event that is likely to affect the FX flows between The UK and Australia is the result of the referendum on whether Britain should remain in the EU or leave. Also known as Brexit, this decision will be made by the British population on June 23rd, 2016.

The uncertainty surrounding this event has already led to a weaker pound in 2016. The Sterling lost 2.18% to the AUD, 1.98% to the USD and a whopping 5.92% to the EUR.

Once the Brexit referendum has been completed, the currency markets are likely to react in a volatile manner in either direction, which is likely to affect the currency flows from between the two countries throughout 2016. Many analysts believe that a Brexit will weaken the GBP and the British economy, at least in the short run. Financial investors and businesses would be less willing to invest in the UK for a while due to the legal and financial uncertainty caused by ending many of the EU agreements that the UK is currently part of. This would also harm Australian expats currently living in Britain when they repatriate their earnings.

On the other hand, a Brexit could mean new agreements on free trade and the freedom of movement between the UK and Australia. Many campaigners in favor of the UK leaving the EU point out that the EU has isolated the UK from the Commonwealth nations and that this trend should be reversed. 

In case the British people vote to remain in the EU, the GBP is likely to recover and investment flows are likely to return to normal. For the AUD this could mean a reversal back to the levels of 2015, which would most likely have a positive effect on FDI from UK investors and boost Australian expats in the UK.

A look at FDI and trade

Regardless of the short-term effects of major events, like the 2008 financial crisis or the Brexit referendum, there has been a strong and long-standing tradition of investment and trade between Australia and the UK.

British individuals, corporations and financial institutions have been investing in Australia for decades and the UK is an almost equally popular destination for Australian investment.

According to a study on Foreign Direct Investment by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia and the UK have very strong economic ties. The UK accounts for 14.7% of Australia’s Inward FDI stock (in second place after the US with 25.3%), and is the second most popular destination for Australian outward FDI (10.2%).

In terms of trade, Australia has traditionally been a net-importer of UK goods with exchange rate fluctuations and seasonal effects temporarily impacting this relationship.



Considering the importance of the UK as a trade partner and investor, and the fact that thousands of British citizens migrate to Australia every year and thereby significantly affect FX flows, it is likely that the positive FDI trend and the currency flows associated with it will continue.

At this point in time, Britain’s decision whether or not to remain in the EU needs to be awaited, since it will have a significant short- and medium-term effect on the GBP/AUD exchange rate and the economic relations between Australia and the UK.

[Image Attribution]: Australian/British flag - Cryptocoinsnews


This week, our representative in Australia, Andrew Walton, submitted a letter to members of parliament in Canberra, detailing our campaign for freedom of movement between the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and requesting support from within the Australian government for the expansion of the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement.

The letter is detailed below.

To get in touch with Andrew regarding the free movement campaign in Australia, please email Andrew.Walton@CFMO.org

For more information about how to get in touch with your local MP in Australia, please visit the Parliament of Australia's members website here.

For all other information, please email our support team at support@CFMO.org.

----------------

Dear Honourable Member,

I am writing to you today to ask you to challenge Prime Minister Turnbull to match words with deeds in regards to building the innovation economy.

The Prime Minister can do this by committing to seek expansion of the special visa program (visa subclass 444), which currently allows Australian & New Zealand citizens to work and study in each other’s countries, to include the citizens of Canada and the United Kingdom through reciprocal ministerial agreements based on the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement.

The benefits of the reciprocal expansion of the special visa scheme for Australia will be substantial and will, in our estimation, form an important plank in allowing the economy to evolve into a leader of innovation, giving Australia a real and decisive competitive advantage in the global economy.

Support

The re-establishment of the right to live and work in Canada and the United Kingdom has been shown to have wide spread support, with a major poll conducted by the Royal Commonwealth Society finding that 70% of Australians, 75% of Canadians, 82% of New Zealanders and 58% of Britons support the re-establishment of citizens' rights to live and work in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom. This shows a remarkable level of support and provides a clear mandate for expansion of the special visa scheme.

Our Organisation has been actively building awareness and support for the re-establishment of our collective citizens' rights to live and work in each other's nations, and has support in the representative bodies of each nation.

Innovation

The key to our future prosperity lies in how effectively we innovate and compete in an increasingly globalised marketplace. By securing the ability of Australians to work and study in the United Kingdom and Canada, we will unlock a unique and substantial competitive advantage for our nation globally. In effect, we will create the foundation of a single labour market servicing the world’s third largest combined economy.

Throughout this huge region, Australians will work and study freely while our businesses recruit the best talent, all without the cost, risk and often lengthy delays currently experienced through arduous immigration controls.

The ability of Australians to work and study in both Canada and the UK will significantly promote innovation, as we will have unparalleled access to the ideas and innovations being developed in the European, North American and Asian-Pacific markets.

Key Industries which would especially benefit from increased access to the Canadian and British markets, to name just a few, would be;

  • The Resources and Mining industry;
  • The Financial services industry;
  • The IT, Technology and Automation industries; and
  • The Manufacturing sector 
Implementation

The expansion of the special visa scheme should, in our opinion, be secured through non-binding ministerial agreements such as the ones which form the basis of the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement. The advantage of this approach is that it leaves Australia free to adjust the agreement(s) as the situation demands without impediment, as well as ensuring we retain full control over our borders and immigration system.

Yours faithfully,


Andrew Walton

Commonwealth Freedom of Movement Organisation - Australia

Andrew.Walton@CFMO.org


[Image Attribution: Australian Parliament - Wikipedia, JJ Harrison]


A survey carried out by Crown Relocations has confirmed that nearly 9 in 10 Australians would welcome British entrepreneurs, with 86 per cent of respondents saying they would like more people to emigrate Down Under.

Currently, Australian business immigration visas include the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188), and the Business Talent (Permanent) visa (subclass 132). There is also the Australian 457 work visa and skilled migration schemes.

Additionally, two-thirds of those participating in the survey considered UK nationals to have 'strong entrepreneurial skills.'

The National Manager at Crown Relocations, John Morris, said:

"The survey results are encouraging for entrepreneurs considering setting up a business Down Under and show that British entrepreneurship is recognised and welcomed there. Everyone knows that Australia is a beautiful country and a wonderful holiday destination...but it can also provide exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to live and work abroad".

Australia has been a popular destination for the British since 1945, when there was mass migration from Britain to Australia under the Australian Assisted Passage Migration Scheme. UK nationals were given incentives to emigrate Down Under from as little as £10, which was set up by Australia's then Prime Minister, Ben Chifley, and the country's first Minister of Immigration, Arthur Calwell.

The scheme was created initially to increase the population of Australia and to supply workers for the country's booming industries, and between 1946 and 1972 (when the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme ended), over one million '£10 Poms' had emigrated to Australia.

According to the Crown Relocations' survey, Australians say that their country is 'crying out for business acumen from the UK', and would wish to encourage British nationals to apply for an Australian visa and start a new life Down Under.

A 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI) also ranked the UK as the most entrepreneurial country in Europe, which could potentially explain why Australians value British Entrepreneurs.

In mid-March, the Australian Federal Government began a consultation process with a view of introducing a new Entrepreneur visa in November 2016. Chris Pyne, Australia's Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science said:

"Australia wants to attract the best and brightest entrepreneurial talent and skills. It is critical for Australia's prosperity and growth that we not only tap into the best entrepreneurial minds in Australia, but we also make it easier for talent from overseas to contribute to this country's innovative future. We are also keen to retain those educated and talented people, who have come to Australia and developed their knowledge base during their time in this country".

Peter Dutton, the Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, stated that the new Entrepreneur visa would help to "promote innovation and encourage individuals to participate in the consultation process. Under the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the new Entrepreneur visa will facilitate the entry to Australia and stay of entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and financial backing from a third party".

Therefore, this is considerably good news for the freedom of movement agenda, as considerable demand for British entrepreneurs in Australia can easily be achieved by allowing human capital to flow freely between the two countries. Under free movement protocols, the need for expensive and time consuming visa/work permit applications would not be necessary, and Australia can easily benefit from increased entrepreneurial supply from the United Kingdom in this way.

Of course, increased demand for British entrepreneurs is not a guarantee for free movement, but this mindset within Australia is a significantly positive step towards commencing discussions about the issue, and achieving considerable progress towards free movement by the end of 2020.


We have concluded our online research survey for May, 2016.

Over the course of 10 days (from April 22nd to May 2nd), 1,230 people completed our online survey, providing information regarding freedom of movement between the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Participants were asked a variety of questions, and were asked to provide details regarding their intentions to relocate should a free movement initiative be introduced, why they would consider relocating, and what eligibility requirements (if any) should be implemented as part of a freedom of movement initiative (among other questions).

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who participated, as your opinions will help us campaign more effectively for free movement between the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and provide politicians with informative data regarding how a free movement initiative may be implemented in the future.

The results of our survey will be published and presented to the UK, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian national governments to aid an effective policy of free movement between the four countries.

To view our online survey report, please use the online viewer below.

Alternatively, should you wish to download and share our report, please click here.




For more information concerning our report, and our online survey, please contact us at support@CFMO.org

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