Migrant and community experience of migration

We survey migrants about their experiences of life in New Zealand and report on their settlement outcomes.

Settlement experience of Pacific migrants in New Zealand

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research was commissioned to deliver research on the long-term settlement outcomes for Pacific migrants in New Zealand.

The study addressed 3 main topics:

  • what settlement outcomes have Pacific migrants experienced in New Zealand
  • what types of Pacific migrants have had more desirable settlement outcomes
  • what personal characteristics and early experiences in New Zealand are associated with successful labour market integration in the long term.

The research uses the Longitudinal Immigration Survey New Zealand (LISNZ) and Statistics NZ’s Integrated Data Infrastructure to focus on differences in outcomes between migrants from different Pacific countries who gained residence approval under different visa types.

Key findings

Pacific migrants interviewed in LISNZ faced a number of challenges to becoming successful and settled in New Zealand, including limited English and low education, which may have caught many in low-paying or part-time work and made them particularly vulnerable to economic conditions.

Although most reported good health and generally positive non-economic outcomes in New Zealand, a number of their outcomes on these dimensions grew worse over their first 3 years after residence approval. The reasons for these declines are not wholly clear and could be investigated in future research.

Findings from this research will contribute to building a picture of Pacific migrant settlement outcomes in New Zealand and challenges faced by these migrants.

The settlement experience of Pacific migrants in New Zealand: Insights from LISNZ and the IDI  [PDF, 3.8 MB]

Migrant survey report

This report presents the findings from our migrant survey which is designed to measure migrants’ settlement experiences. In particular, the research aims to understand:

  • migrants’ working life – current employment and satisfaction with their job
  • migrants’ sense of belonging to New Zealand
  • migrants’ overall satisfaction with living in New Zealand
  • migrants’ sense of being treated fairly by employers and in general.

The 2017 report below summarises survey findings from 2012 to 2017.

Settling in New Zealand: Migrants' perceptions of their experience 2012-2017  [PDF, 816 KB]

Community survey report

These 2 reports from 2015 and 2016 present the findings from our community survey which is designed to measure New Zealanders’ attitudes to migrants.

In particular, the research aims to understand awareness, knowledge and community perceptions of migrants, including:

  • overall attitudes towards migrants and migration
  • specific differences in attitudes towards migrants from different countries
  • attitudes surrounding migrant numbers
  • the contribution of migrants to New Zealand’s productivity, culture and society.

Community survey report 2016 [PDF, 2.5 MB]
Community survey report 2015 [PDF, 3.5 MB]

Last updated: 15 February 2019