NZ travel to foreign countries drops after a pause for quarantine-free travel

According to Stats NZ, the August pause in quarantine-free travel with Australia or the Cook Islands resulted in a drop in the number of people crossing New Zealand’s border.

August saw 41,300 border crossings, with 18,800 arrivals and 22,500 departing. According to Stats NZ, the total number of border crossings in August was significantly lower than those of the three previous months. They averaged 171,000 per month.


According to Tehseen Islam, Tehseen, the population indicators manager, the drop in border crossings is due to the suspension of two-way, quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand, and one way, quarantine-free traveling from New Zealand towards the Cook Islands in August.

Islam stated that September’s provisional data shows a decrease in border crossings. He added that border crossings also include all arrivals or departures for either short-term or long-term migration.

With 8,500 returning to New Zealand in August, the Cook Islands was the most popular destination for New Zealanders. Statistics show that 92 percent of them returned to New Zealand after a holiday.

13.400 New Zealand-residents arrived on an overseas trip in August. Islam reported that this was down 23,000. However, it was up 10,100 from August 2020.


68% of New Zealand-residents who declared a major destination for their return went to the Cook Islands. He then said that Australia (8%) and Japan (4%) were next.

Islam stated that athletes and officials from New Zealand returned from the Tokyo Olympic Games as well as officials were among those who arrived.

He said that August 2021 saw only 2,700 foreign visitors arrive, which is down 27500 from July.

Islam stated that this is the first time that the Cook Islands have been the main source for visitor arrivals. He also said that overseas visitors could include New Zealand citizens, seasonal workers and essential workers.

The net migration for the year ending August 2021 was 2,400, as compared to 72,500 for the year ending August 2020. This is a decrease of 70,100 according to statistics.

Islam stated that there was a net increase of 12,200 New Zealand citizens, and a decrease of 9,800 non New Zealand citizens during the year ending August 2021.