Record annual fall in border crossings

Arrivals and departures across the New Zealand border saw record annual falls in the year ended March 2021, due to COVID-19 border and travel restrictions, Stats NZ said today.

There were 319,700 border crossings in the year ended March 2021, made up of 127,600 arrivals and 192,100 departures. In contrast, in the year ended March 2020 there were 13.6 million border crossings, made up of 6.8 million arrivals and 6.8 million departures.

Border crossings include all arrivals and departures, either for short-term trips or longer term, and by people living overseas or in New Zealand.

Year ended MarchArrivalsDepartures
Mar-19224112830367
Mar-19233410228578
Mar-19243620830479
Mar-19254209729812
Mar-19264239330736
Mar-19274558933987
Mar-19283559937074
Mar-19293479134057
Mar-19303380231396
Mar-19313068225574
Mar-19321788020980
Mar-19331866321208
Mar-19341964721984
Mar-19352484328007
Mar-19362691528007
Mar-19373162031974
Mar-19383866036294
Mar-19394257537597
Mar-19403134825235
Mar-19411375512933
Mar-194271026872
Mar-194331332592
Mar-194437473640
Mar-194572076189
Mar-19461330910966
Mar-19472524622320
Mar-19483311327388
Mar-19493594631765
Mar-19505088043000
Mar-19515464447122
Mar-19526249846834
Mar-19536624044208
Mar-19546184546404
Mar-19556161054580
Mar-19566647258380
Mar-19577605564563
Mar-19587966664258
Mar-19598364873656
Mar-19608937786164
Mar-1961106238104618
Mar-1962132656113824
Mar-1963143872130233
Mar-1964164646149162
Mar-1965190291178300
Mar-1966219939207918
Mar-1967250406235971
Mar-1968259381267471
Mar-1969255736266584
Mar-1970293405295465
Mar-1971352296344451
Mar-1972408281397430
Mar-1973469382443907
Mar-1974598099564932
Mar-1975678655649514
Mar-1976678664673472
Mar-1977667224683494
Mar-1978715780737936
Mar-1979805876832420
Mar-1980925939947253
Mar-1981970427986636
Mar-1982946287951030
Mar-1983915463900021
Mar-1984922868912311
Mar-198510172121016995
Mar-198611119261130444
Mar-198713217291317372
Mar-198815549921555949
Mar-198916696371687935
Mar-199017010561702689
Mar-199117725241757948
Mar-199218098851806947
Mar-199318987691890689
Mar-199420570052041212
Mar-199522352462214845
Mar-199624647322436106
Mar-199727268972689118
Mar-199826510992651382
Mar-199927562342770326
Mar-200029230792921218
Mar-200132185073214067
Mar-200233365553269158
Mar-200334814983417540
Mar-200437027543668348
Mar-200542610064246399
Mar-200643420844334698
Mar-200744132384391457
Mar-200845928954567797
Mar-200944433044439745
Mar-201045261324505233
Mar-201146371374658171
Mar-201248308194843495
Mar-201348655824853936
Mar-201451040135080593
Mar-201554135745352961
Mar-201658823655787236
Mar-201763797546323296
Mar-201868251176756580
Mar-201970333207002402
Mar-202068099646759046
Mar-2021127559192120

“Full COVID-19-related border and travel restrictions, beginning in mid-March 2020, have seen annual arrivals and departures in the year ended March 2021 fall to levels last seen in the 1960s,” population indicators manager Tehseen Islam said.

“People’s ability to travel was limited due to border and travel restrictions, along with capacity restrictions in managed isolation and quarantine facilities.”

Border restrictions have allowed New Zealand citizens, permanent residents, and their families to return, along with other traveller groups granted exemptions from border restrictions.

Of the 127,600 arrivals in the year ended March 2021, 63 percent (80,100) were New Zealand citizens. This share is up from the previous five March years, where an average of 42 percent of arrivals were New Zealand citizens.

Of the 192,100 departures in the year ended March 2021, 71 percent (136,300) were by non-New Zealand citizens. This share is up from the previous five March years, where an average of 58 percent of departures were non-New Zealand citizens.

“Border crossings fell to extremely low levels in the year ended March 2021. However, provisional data from April 2021 have shown an increase in arrivals and departures with the opening of two-way quarantine-free travel with Australia,” Mr Islam said.

Travel with Australia increases

Provisional border crossing data up to 9 May 2021 shows an average of 22,000 arrivals and 18,500 departures each week since two-way quarantine-free travel opened with Australia on 19 April 2021. Roughly 90 percent of arrivals and departures are from, or to, Australia.

“Weekly border crossing numbers since 19 April 2021 are well up compared to earlier in 2021, when weekly arrivals averaged 3,000, and weekly departures averaged 3,300,” Mr Islam said.

Week endedNZ citizensAustralian citizensOther citizenships
4 April 20211473118775
11 April 2021128182904
18 April 202197337696
25 April 20211465388581715
2 May 20211348673851787
9 May 20211088759771378
Week endedNZ citizensAustralian citizensOther citizenships
4 April 202119592601702
11 April 202118533321348
18 April 202128724931521
25 April 20211001132102289
2 May 20211111057881986
9 May 20211201666842402

Overall, arrivals and departures are at much higher levels than in the same period in 2020, but well down on 2019 levels, which were above 60,000 a week.

Since 19 April 2021, about 60 percent of arrivals and departures each week have been New Zealand citizens. Australian citizens made up roughly 35 percent of arrivals and 30 percent of departures.

Stats NZ publishes provisional arrivals and departures data daily on the COVID-19 data portal and publishes provisional international travel data each week.

/Stats NZ Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.