Immigration govt nz Migration and Labour Force Trends



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immigration.govt.nz

Migration and Labour Force Trends

Taranaki Overview 



2015

2

NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRATION

TARANAKI 

OVERVIEW 2015

MIGRATION AND LABOUR 

FORCE TRENDS

© Crown Copyright 2015

The material contained in this report is subject to Crown copyright protection 

unless otherwise indicated. The Crown copyright protected material may be 

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permission. This is subject to the material being reproduced accurately and 

not being used in a derogatory manner or in a misleading context. Where 

the material is being published or issued to others, the source and copyright 

status should be acknowledged. The permission to reproduce Crown copyright 

protected material does not extend to any material in this report that is 

identified as being the copyright of a third party. Authorisation to reproduce 

such material should be obtained from the copyright holders.

ISBN 978-0-947524-14-2 (online)

July, 2016

Table of Contents

Taranaki Executive Summary 

2

Introduction 3



Background 4

Taranaki’s migrant demographics 

6

Migration and the Taranaki labour market 



9

Permanent migration 

13

Temporary migration 



16

International students 

19

Conclusion 20



Appendices 21

NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRATION

TARANAKI 

OVERVIEW 2015

MIGRATION AND LABOUR 

FORCE TRENDS

1

Tables


Table 1

Overseas-born population in Taranaki by birthplace, 2013

7

Table 2


Number and share of overseas-born population in Taranaki by their country  

of origin, who have been in New Zealand for under two years in 2013

7

Table 3


Overseas and New Zealand-born population by the highest qualification  

attained, 2013

8

Table 4


Working-age population in Taranaki by labour force status and birthplace, 2001-2013

10

Table 5



Top source countries of Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) principal applicants  

in Taranaki, FY 2010/11 to 2014/15

14

Table 6


Occupations of Skilled Migrant Category principal applicants with a job offer in 

Taranaki, 2013/14 and 2014/15

15

Table 7


Top source countries of Essential Skills workers in Taranaki, FY 2010/11 to 2014/15

17

Table 8



Occupations of Essential Skills workers in Taranaki, FY 2013/14 and 2014/15

18

Appendix 1



Region of skilled employment for Skilled Migrant Category principal applicants,  

FY 2009/10-2014/15

21

Appendix 2



Number of people granted Essential Skills work visas by region of employment,  

FY 2005/06-2014/15

22

Appendix 3



Number of people granted student visas by region of study, FY 2005/06-2014/15

23

Appendix 4



Number of new students by region of study, FY 2005/06-2014/15

24

Figures



Figure 1

New Outcomes Framework for Migrant Settlement and Integration

5

Figure 2


The proportion of the overseas-born population compared with the New Zealand-

born population in Taranaki and New Zealand overall

6

Figure 3


Employment rate of overseas-born and New Zealand-born individuals  

in Taranaki, 2001-2013

10

Figure 4


Unemployment rate of overseas-born and New Zealand-born individuals  

in Taranaki, 2001-2013

11

Figure 5


Participation rate of overseas-born and New Zealand-born individuals  

in Taranaki, 2001-2013

12

Figure 6


The top five source countries of Skilled Migrant Category principal applicants  

in Taranaki, FY 2005/06 to 2014/15

14

Figure 7


The top five source countries of Essential Skills workers in the Taranaki region,  

FY 2005/06 to 2014/15

17


2

NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRATION

TARANAKI 

OVERVIEW 2015

MIGRATION AND LABOUR 

FORCE TRENDS

Taranaki Executive Summary

The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of Taranaki’s recent migrant population and 

migration trends, with a particular focus on Taranaki’s labour market. The report shows trends to 

2014/15 and compares recent immigration patterns with previous years.

The primary data sources used in the report are Statistics New Zealand’s 2013 Census of Population 

and Dwellings and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) 2014/15 

immigration administrative data. The data are publicly available through Statistics New Zealand, 

Immigration NZ and MBIE’s websites.



Taranaki has a small but growing overseas-born population

Thirteen percent of Taranaki’s population (or 13,227 people) were born overseas, compared with  

25 percent for New Zealand overall. This is an increase from the 9 percent (or 9,078 people) reported 

in the 2001 Census. The majority of the overseas-born population were born in the United Kingdom and 

Ireland. The share of Taranaki residents born in these countries is higher compared with the overall 

New Zealand population (40 percent in Taranaki versus 26 percent nationwide). Taranaki’s overseas-

born qualification is more likely to be highly qualified compared with its New Zealand-born population.

Taranaki has a lower unemployment rate compared  

with the national average

Taranaki, in general, has a lower unemployment rate and a higher participation rate compared with the 

national average. Aggregated by birthplace, the overseas-born population in the region has a lower 

unemployment rate compared with the New Zealand-born population. Over time, the unemployment 

rate of the overseas-born population in the region has been showing a downward trend.

Skilled Migrant Category principal applicant numbers  

have decreased over the past year in Taranaki

In 2014/15, two percent (or 142 people) of New Zealand’s approved Skilled Migrant Category principal 

applicants (i.e. permanent migrants) found employment in the Taranaki region. This is a decrease of 

14 percent on the previous period. India, the United Kingdom and the Philippines were the top source 

countries for skilled migrants in the region.

The top three occupations of skilled migrants in Taranaki in 2014/15 were Retail Managers (10 percent), 

Registered Nurses (9 percent) and Chefs (8 percent).

Essential Skills temporary workers decreased over  

the past year in Taranaki

In 2014/15, 424 people were approved for Essential Skills work visa in the region. This is a 40 percent 

decrease over the past year. The United Kingdom, the Philippines and India were the top source 

countries for Essential Skills workers in the region.

The top three main occupations of Essential Skills workers in Taranaki in 2014/15 were Marine Transport 

Professionals (12 percent), Livestock Farmers (10 percent) and Chefs (8 percent).



International student numbers increase in Taranaki

In the 2014/15, 549 people were granted a student visa to study in Taranaki. This is a six percent 

increase from 2013/14. The Taranaki region had one of the smallest shares of international students 

in the country, making up one percent of the total student visas granted. Over the past year, there 

has been a decrease in the number of new international students in the region.


NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRATION

TARANAKI 

OVERVIEW 2015

MIGRATION AND LABOUR 

FORCE TRENDS

3

Introduction

The Taranaki region is situated on the west coast of the North Island. The volcanic peak of  

Mount Taranaki, which last erupted in the mid-18th century, is a dominant feature of the landscape 

and was the film location for the movie, “The Last Samurai”. The rich volcanic soil and high rainfall 

support a successful dairy farming industry. 

Taranaki’s main centres are New Plymouth and Hawera. 

The Hawera milk factory collects 14 million litres of milk a day and produces the largest volume  

of dairy ingredients, from a single factory, anywhere in the world.

Taranaki has land-based and off-shore oil and gas deposits, which are major contributors to the 

regional economy. The Taranaki Basin is currently New Zealand’s only hydrocarbon producing area, 

and makes up the major part of the country’s natural gas resources.

Taranaki’s Regional Economic Development Strategy 2010-2035, produced by Venture Taranaki, lists 

“Talented Taranaki” as one of its six themes. The Talented Taranaki campaign is intended to enhance 

growth and remove barriers to development, address skills shortages and boost productivity. Their 

goal is to grow, retain, inspire and attract an educated and skilled community.

The Taranaki region has a population of 109,608, ranking it tenth in size out of the 16 regions 

in New Zealand. The local population has increased five percent since the 2006 Census and is home 

to three percent of the New Zealand population.

Taranaki has a high proportion of people who belong to the European ethnic group. Eighty-six 

percent of the region’s residents identify themselves as European (compared with 74 percent  

for New Zealand overall), 17 percent identify as Māori, 3 percent as Asian and 2 percent as Pacific.

Taranaki’s overseas-born population is smaller compared with New Zealand’s overall. Thirteen 

percent of people in the Taranaki region were born overseas, compared with 25 percent for the  

total New Zealand population. Forty percent of Taranaki’s overseas-born population were born  

in the United Kingdom and Ireland.



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NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRATION

TARANAKI 

OVERVIEW 2015

MIGRATION AND LABOUR 

FORCE TRENDS

Background

A driving goal of Government is to build a more competitive and internationally focused economy. 

Migration plays a key role in meeting this goal as it helps to grow New Zealand’s labour force, which 

in turn drives our economy. Migration also increases international connections that give access to 

foreign knowledge, foreign capital and international trade. 

In July 2014, Government approved the New Zealand Migrant Settlement and Integration Strategy,  

a revised approach to successfully settle and integrate migrants in New Zealand.

The Migrant Settlement and Integration Strategy builds on the New Zealand Settlement Strategy 

which led Settlement work in New Zealand for the past decade. It places value on the economic 

contribution of migration and stresses the importance of the long-term integration of migrants  

in conjunction with successful initial settlement.

The Strategy’s aim is that migrants: “Make New Zealand their home, participate fully and contribute 

to all aspects of New Zealand life”. 

Key to achieving this aim are the Strategy’s five outcomes – Employment, Education and Training, 

Inclusion, English Language and Health and Wellbeing ( see Figure 1).

Employment, and Education and Training are the key outcomes for the Strategy (reflecting their 

importance to the Government’s Business Growth Agenda). However all five outcomes are strongly 

interconnected and contribute to the Strategy’s aim, as well as to each other. For example, good 

English language skills and good health support migrants’ participation in employment, while education 

and training helps them to make social connections that support their wellbeing and inclusion.

Sixteen indicators measure progress towards achievement of the five outcomes overseas. 


NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRATION

TARANAKI 

OVERVIEW 2015

MIGRATION AND LABOUR 

FORCE TRENDS

5

Figure 1: New Outcomes Framework for Migrant Settlement and Integration

Overarching 

Outcome

Migrants make 

 

New Zealand their home, 



participate fully and  

contribute to all aspects 

 

of New Zealand life.



Outcome 1: Employment

Working-age migrants 

 

have work that matches 



their skills and New Zealand-  

ready qualifications 



Outcome 2: Education  

and Training

Migrants achieve educational 

and vocational qualifications

Outcome 5: Health 

and Wellbeing

Migrants enjoy healthy 

lives and feel confident 

and safe


Outcome 3:  

English Language

Migrants confidently 

use English in their 

daily lives



Outcome 4: Inclusion

Migrants participate in and 

have a sense of belonging  

to their community and to 

New Zealand 

As part of the Strategy, regional support to attract and retain migrants is being stepped up, with 

Immigration New Zealand establishing new Regional Partnership Agreements, the first of which was 

developed for the Auckland region.

Quality immigration data on the current migration population in Taranaki, their participation in the 

workforce, as well as future projections of inward and outward migration helps inform Taranaki’s 

economic planning, and in turn can help deliver on the outcomes defined in the Migration Settlement 

and Integration Strategy.



6

NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRATION

TARANAKI 

OVERVIEW 2015

MIGRATION AND LABOUR 

FORCE TRENDS

NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRATION

AUCKLAND 

OVERVIEW 2014

MIGRATION AND LABOUR 

FORCE TRENDS

Taranaki’s migrant demographics 

Taranaki is the tenth most populous region of the 16 regions in New Zealand. The 2013 Census 

reported Taranaki’s usual resident population at 109,608, or three percent of New Zealand’s population.

The 2013 Census showed that 13 percent of Taranaki’s population was born overseas. This is lower than 

the 25 percent of the overseas-born population recorded across the overall New Zealand population.



Population size and gender

The share of the overseas-born population in Taranaki has been constantly growing but has 

remained less than that of the overall New Zealand population. The 2001 Census reported that  

9 percent of the region’s population was born overseas; this increased to 11 percent in the 2006 

Census and further increased to 13 percent in the 2013 Census. This is illustrated in Figure 2.

Figure 2: The proportion of the overseas-born population compared with the New Zealand-

born population in Taranaki and New Zealand overall

TARANAKI

9%

2001


2001

2006


2006

2013


2013

91%

NEW ZEALAND

11%

13%

89%

87%

19%

81%

23%

25%

77%

75%

OVERSEAS–BORN POPULATION

NEW ZEALAND–BORN POPULATION

Source: 2001, 2006 and 2013 Censuses, Statistics New Zealand

The male to female ratio of the overseas-born population within Taranaki is similar to the  

national proportions. Of those living in Taranaki who were born overseas, 49 percent are male  

and 51 percent female.



NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRATION

TARANAKI 

OVERVIEW 2015

MIGRATION AND LABOUR 

FORCE TRENDS

7

Birthplace of the overseas-born population

The Taranaki region has a larger share of overseas-born individuals who were born in the United 

Kingdom and Ireland in comparison with the overall New Zealand overseas-born population (see 

Table 1). Forty percent of the overseas-born residents in Taranaki were born in the United Kingdom 

and Ireland. Compared with the national average, the region also has a higher share of residents  

born in Australia.



Table 1: Overseas-born population in Taranaki by birthplace, 2013

Birthplace  

(by broad geographic areas)

Taranaki

New Zealand

UK and Ireland

40%

26%


Asia

19%


32%

Australia

12%

6%

Middle East and Africa



10%

9%

Europe*



9%

7%

Pacific Islands



6%

15%


North America

4%

3%



Other

1%

1%



Source: Census 2013, Statistics New Zealand

Note: *Europe excluding UK and Ireland



Recent migrants

In this report, a ‘recent’ migrant is defined as those who have been living in New Zealand for under 

two years. Table 2 shows that the majority of recent migrants in Taranaki were from Asia (36 percent) 

and the United Kingdom and Ireland (21 percent). Taranaki has a higher share of new migrants born  

in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and Australia compared with the overall New Zealand population.

Table 2: 

Number and share of overseas-born population in Taranaki by their country of origin, 

who have been in New Zealand for under two years in 2013

Australia

Pacific 

Islands

UK & 

Ireland

Europe*

North 

America

Asia

Middle 

East & 

Africa

Other

Taranaki

Number


270

57

417



150

144


714

168


66

% of overseas-

born population

14%


3%

21%


8%

7%

36%



8%

3%

New Zealand

Number

8,556


12,093

21,693


9,186

6,144


61,122

10,011


3,567

% of overseas-

born population

6%

9%



16%

7%

5%



46%

8%

3%



Source: Census 2013, Statistics New Zealand

Note: *Europe excluding UK and Ireland



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NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRATION

TARANAKI 

OVERVIEW 2015

MIGRATION AND LABOUR 

FORCE TRENDS



Highest qualification

A knowledge-based society relies on a highly qualified labour force, not only in high-tech and 

research sectors, but increasingly in all sectors of the economy and society. Taranaki’s economy  

will continue to rely on offshore skills and talent to support its growth.

Table 3 shows that the overseas-born population is more likely to be highly qualified than the  

New Zealand-born population. In Taranaki, 26 percent of those born overseas have a bachelor’s 

degree or higher, compared with only 10 percent of the New Zealand-born population. The trend  

is similar for New Zealand overall.



Table 3: 

Overseas and New Zealand-born population by the highest qualification attained, 2013

No 

qualification

Overseas 

secondary 

school 

qualification

Level 1-3 

certificate

Level 4 

certificate 

or Level 5 or 

6 diploma

Bachelor 

degree 

and level 7 

qualification

Honours 

or post-

graduate 

degree

Taranaki

New Zealand-

born

31%


0%

38%


21%

8%

2%



Overseas-

born


13%

24%


17%

21%


16%

10%


New Zealand

New Zealand-

born

24%


0%

39%


20%

12%


5%

Overseas-

born

14%


22%

18%


17%

18%


11%

Source: Census 2013, Statistics New Zealand

NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRATION

TARANAKI 

OVERVIEW 2015

MIGRATION AND LABOUR 

FORCE TRENDS

9

Migration and the  

Taranaki labour market

Immigration New Zealand (as part of MBIE), recognises the significance that migration plays in 

meeting workforce needs, and together with local council and economic development agencies  

has a shared interest in attracting and retaining migrants to Taranaki to meet skills shortages.

Immigration New Zealand’s priorities align with the Government’s Business Growth Agenda which 

promises lifting the skills and productivity of the workforce overall and ensuring skills migration 

meets New Zealand’s needs.

Taranaki context

Taranaki’s migrants make for a labour market that is both ethnically and culturally diverse. This creates 

opportunities as well as challenges and reaffirms the need for long-term economic and social 

integration of migrants as an integral part of the region’s economic growth.

Taranaki region’s population is projected to increase by an average of 0.5 percent a year between 

2013 and 2043, increasing to 130,200 people in 2043.

Taranaki employs three percent of New Zealand’s workers. Industries with the highest share of 

workers in the region are in Manufacturing (14 percent), Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (13 percent) 

and Health Care and Social Assistance (10 percent).

1

This section will focus on migrant participation in Taranaki’s labour force. As stated in a technical 



report published by Auckland Council

2

: participation, employment and unemployment rates are three 



of the most commonly reported and widely understood indicators of the state of the labour market. 

Together, these three indicators can provide insight into the pressures that individuals are facing in 

relation to finding and keeping a job, and the decisions they make about whether to seek work or 

whether to pursue other, non-work activities.

Table 4 summarises the employment rate, unemployment rate and participation rate of the working-

age population in Taranaki in 2013, split by those born overseas and born in New Zealand. Taranaki  

in general has a lower unemployment rate and a higher participation rate compared with the national 

average. The overseas-born population in Taranaki has a lower unemployment rate compared with 

the New Zealand-born population.

1  Source: 2013 Census, Statistics New Zealand

2  Auckland Council (2014): The Labour Market and Skills in Auckland 2014: Technical Report 2014/026


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NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRATION

TARANAKI 

OVERVIEW 2015

MIGRATION AND LABOUR 

FORCE TRENDS



Table 4: Working-age population in Taranaki by labour force status and birthplace, 2001-2013

Employment Rate

Unemployment Rate


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