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A Note on Construction Worker Migration to New Zealand 1962-2018

This paper constructs a long time series of permanent and long-term arrivals and departures of construction workers to and from New Zealand between 1962 and 2018. It briefly describes the data and the sources, then discusses key observations in the data.

The key findings are that the large outflow of construction workers following the collapse of construction sector activity in the mid-1970s, combined with changes to migration rules in the early 1990s, led to a significant, persistent reduction in the net migration of construction workers. That reduction was probably partly responsible for the capacity constraints we currently observe in the construction sector. Read the Note on Construction Worker Migration to New Zealand 1962-2018 here.

Note - The following paper is by the same authors on construction in New Zealand: Residential construction and population growth in New Zealand: 1996-2016



Understanding New Zealand’s productivity performance

Our research aims to understand New Zealand's productivity performance and the role of policy in lifting productivity. 

Explore our publications below, hear us present at an event or contact us with your productivity questions.

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Productivity growth

The goal of our research is to facilitate a move from an economy that grows by using more “inputs” (such as labour or natural resources), to one where productivity plays a greater role in driving economic growth – essentially, working smarter, with greater financial and knowledge capital employed per worker.

Our research explores a wide range of productivity issues: employment, firm dynamics, technology diffusion, innovation, regional development, spatial and public-sector productivity.

Working together

The commissioning of research and the practice of collaboration with others is important to us. It enables us to access subject/sector specialists and benefit from the cross-promotion of ideas and insights. You will find research from the Commission, as well as research we commissioned, below.

Strengthening learning

Our Economics & Research team is independently evaluated every two years to understand how to improve and enhance our impact. See the latest evaluation report and 2020 survey results here.


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