Badkar, Juthika; Callister, Paul; Krishnan, Vasantha; Didham, Robert; Bedford, Richard
November 2007
Social Policy Journal of New Zealand;Nov2007, Issue 32, p126
Academic Journal
Skilled migration flows into New Zealand are important to the Department of Labour's goal of building New Zealand's workforce and attracting (and retaining) talent to contribute to the nation's economic transformation. Globally, female migrants constitute nearly half of all migrants in developed and developing countries. This global presence of women in migration is also reflected in the increase of women using what have previously been male-dominated migration streams. This research paper focuses on the migration of Asian women into New Zealand for two reasons. Firstly, Asian migrants are a significant and increasing source of skilled labour, which New Zealand is in competition for; and secondly, the 2006 Census shows that in key working-age groups there are significantly more Asian women than men living in New Zealand. The Department of Labour's databases were analysed to calculate trends and gender ratios in migrants entering New Zealand through the Skilled/Business stream and Temporary categories from 1997/98 to 2005/06 as principal applicants. Our results show that although men dominate the overall Skilled/Business stream and Temporary categories, there is large diversity by nationality and women from some Asian countries are critical players in the migration process. Census data, which represent the net result of inflows and outflows, suggest that there have been more Asian women than men migrating to New Zealand. Department of Labour immigration data do not fully support this overall gendered migration from Asia, but consideration of gender, age, country of origin and migration stream uncovers much complexity within these overall flows.


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