WELLINGTON, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Immigration into New Zealand continued at record levels last month, prompting opposition lawmakers to claim the numbers are unsustainable.
In the year ending February, a net 71,300 migrants arrived in the country, the government statistics agency said Tuesday.
This equalled the previous annual record set in January, according to Statistics New Zealand.
Migrant arrivals numbered 128,800 in the February 2017 year, a new annual record, while migrant departures were 57,500.
"About a third of all migrant arrivals for the year were people coming to New Zealand on work visas," population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said.
"Just over a quarter of all work-visa migrants were from the United Kingdom and France."
The next largest sources of migrants coming to New Zealand to work were from Germany, Australia, South Africa, and the United States.
The opposition New Zealand First party said the government had ignored advice from the Treasury and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to rein in immigration numbers to "realistic and sustainable" levels.
Ordinary New Zealanders were getting "fed up" with the unsustainable levels of immigration, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said in a statement.
"They are realizing thousands of migrants, many of whom are low-skilled and desperate to get here, artificially pump up the economy and help create a bogus surplus," Peters said.
More than 91,000 young New Zealanders were jobless and were not in training or education and the numbers had worsened, he said.