I endorse this post by Aaron Schiff – go read it.
You will also notice in the above chart that over the past ten years the number of arrivals has been relatively steady with a slight upwards trend, while departures is more volatile. Thus temporary spikes in net migration seem to be caused more often by changes in the number of people leaving rather than arriving, although the recent spike has been caused by both sides of the equation.
Something I would note here is that, until recently, this has been largely a story of New Zealander’s coming home as well. Finally:
We should celebrate because on the incoming side, skilled immigrants provide New Zealand with a significant free gift. Some other country has paid the cost of their birth, childcare, childhood medical care, education, etc. They turn up in New Zealand effectively bringing all that investment with them and this benefits the country. Sounds good to me.
Something I would note here – it is a strange contradiction complaining about a brain drain while bemoaning skilled migrants moving here.
Deep down we should be a little bit more careful thinking about both issues. People are moving as they see it as being in the long-run interest of their family and their lives – in that way, why is it so hard for us to accept that NZer’s may want to spend some time overseas, and that non-NZ citizens may want to join our community?