Most Chinese, Indian migrants go to Auckland

There are now more migrants coming to New Zealand from both China and India than there are from the UK. And most of the Asian immigrants settle in Auckland.

Migration to regional parts of New Zealand hasn’t gone down much, but Asian migration to Auckland has gone up substantially.

This means that more than ever Auckland is demographically quite different to much of the rest of the country.

NZ Herald: The Big Read: Why are migrants snubbing NZ’s regions?

That headline is misleading, it is mainly Asian migrants ‘snubbing’ the regions – and it’s simply because they prefer to settle in Auckland.

New settlers from Asia are giving the regions a wide berth, with migrants from the two main source countries preferring to set up home in Auckland.

Measures aimed at improving the spread of migrants across New Zealand were introduced last November, but new data reveals that seven in 10 migrants from China – the country’s largest source of permanent migrants – are not opting to live anywhere else but Auckland.

AUT University Professor of Population Geography Richard Bedford said New Zealand’s largest city is the preferred choice for migrants from China, India and other Asian countries.

“They concentrate on Auckland because of the sorts of work they want, the concentrations of their co-ethnics and, for Indians and Chinese, this is New Zealand’s only sizeable city,” Professor Bedford said.

Auckland is sizeable compared to the rest of New Zealand but is still quite small compared to major cities around the world.

  • Auckland 1.5 million
  • Sydney 5 million
  • Melbourne 4.4 million
  • Brisbane 2.3 million (South East Queensland 3.4 million)
  • Beijing metropolitan 25 million
  • Shanghai 24.2 million
  • Delhi 16.7 million
  • Mumbai 12.5 million
  • Shenzen 10.5 million

– approximate and depends on how a city area is defined

In List of cities proper by population (Wikipedia) it lists 90 cities of over 3 million population, with 27 being in China and 10 in India.

“The migrants from Western countries tend to be attracted to the same things as New Zealanders, after all, they are not just coming to NZ to work in Auckland,” said Professor Bedford.

But with China now displacing the UK as the main source country for migrants, and more migrants coming from Asia, Auckland will become more cosmopolitan and diverse, while the regions remain largely “white”.

“The smaller towns and rural parts of the country will have populations that are closer to the national average in terms of diversity, and some places will be very heavily dominated by people of European and Maori ethnicities,” Professor Bedford added.

So you choose much more ethnic diversity and much higher property prices in Auckland or go live somewhere else in New Zealand.

Leave a comment


  1. Timoti

     /  5th January 2016

    If you visit Auckland you’ll know this article aint no lie. Provincial people find it hard getting their heads around being in a minority should they enter central Auckland. Even TV Interviews bear this out. When an interview is staged in Auckland, look in the background. At least half of the folk will be identifiable as foreign.

    Is that a good thing? Yes and no,

    Asians bring a work ethic, thrift and family values to our country. Likewise Indians. These values have been stripped from many Nw Zealanders thanks to our cultural practices and an inane desire to follow PC. Asians will have none of that bs.( I do not class Indians as Asians)

    But as stated , culturally they prefer large city living. Its what they understand and desire. That is indirectly effecting New Zealand with regards to infrastructure, central government funding and native Kiwi culture. Something, somewhere, will eventually have to give. We have handled immigration unwisely. Maori are already facing the fact they will be surplus to requirements. In provincial areas immigrants are changing the business culture of small towns. Many lack an understanding of the Kiwi way, or aren’t interested in understanding. That results in many small town folk taking their business to the larger provincial cities. Again dynamics are changed by immigration. So I must disagree with Professor Bedford in some regards

    Forcing immigrants to provincial areas may inadvertently destroy the provinces, Then what will we have to call home? Not Auckland, not the provinces,,,,nothing.

  2. I am easily bamboozled by figures, but 2 websites show some interesting stats and trends –

    ENZ’s 2014 and 2015 figures show India the leading “source country” ahead of China, Phillipines, U.K. and Germany in that order (though I am not sure what they mean by “long term gain”?). From 2004 – 2010 the U.K. was ahead and in 2006 its migrant numbers were more than the other top 4 countries combined.

    Wiki’s ‘Top 10 countries of birth of NZ residents 2013 census’ reveals some interesting figures, with U.K.’s 6.43% of total population being a long way ahead of China’s 2.42% and India’s 1.69%. Notably, more people were born in South Africa (1.36%) than in Fiji (1.32%) which, to my surprise, is ahead of Samoa (1.27%).

    I understand that Auckland is multicultural nowadays, in some parts much moreso than others, and that ethnic groups tend to congregate, but I wonder if any surveys have been conducted along the lines of “shown a flash card depicting 100 people in which (say) 13 were Maori, 3 Chinese, 2 Indian and 1 each Fijian, Samoan, Phillipine and South Korean, what percentage of immigrants do you recall seeing”? I tend to notice what’s unusual or out of the ordinary for me.


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