Primer to New Zealand's immigration system


New Zealand Productivity Commission

Date published

8 November 2021

Download [4.8 MB PDF]

This primer describes the main features of the temporary and permanent immigration systems, and the interactions between the two. It is part of the Productivity Commission’s wider inquiry into New Zealand’s long-term immigration settings. The Productivity Commission has been asked by the Government to examine New Zealand’s immigration system, and make recommendations that would best facilitate its contribution to long-term economic growth and the wellbeing of New Zealanders.

Understanding the main features of the immigration system is an important context for interpreting some of the immigration trends that are occurring, and some of the issues that have arisen as a result of the system.


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.


Load more