NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRATION
MIGRATION AND LABOUR
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Table of Contents
Taranaki Executive Summary
Taranaki’s migrant demographics
Migration and the Taranaki labour market
MIGRATION AND LABOUR
Overseas-born population in Taranaki by birthplace, 2013
of origin, who have been in New Zealand for under two years in 2013
in Taranaki, FY 2010/11 to 2014/15
Taranaki, 2013/14 and 2014/15
New Outcomes Framework for Migrant Settlement and Integration
born population in Taranaki and New Zealand overall
in Taranaki, 2001-2013
in Taranaki, FY 2005/06 to 2014/15
FY 2005/06 to 2014/15
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Figure 1: New Outcomes Framework for Migrant Settlement and Integration
New Zealand their home,
contribute to all aspects
of New Zealand life.
have work that matches
Migrants achieve educational
and vocational qualifications
Outcome 5: Health
Migrants enjoy healthy
lives and feel confident
use English in their
Migrants participate in and
have a sense of belonging
to their community and to
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.
NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRATION
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.
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
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.
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.
UK and Ireland
Middle East and Africa
Note: *Europe excluding UK and Ireland
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.
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
% of overseas-
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.
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’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).
This section will focus on migrant participation in Taranaki’s labour force. As stated in a technical
: participation, employment and unemployment rates are three
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