Longitudinal Immigration Study of New Zealand



Longitudinal Immigration Study of New Zealand


Statistics New Zealand


The Longitudinal Immigration Survey: New Zealand (LisNZ) was designed to collect longitudinal data in order to understand how well migrants settle over their first three years as residents in New Zealand. The survey interviews migrants at around 6 months (wave 1), 18 months (wave 2), and 36 months (wave 3) after their residence uptake. The aim is to achieve a sample of around 5,000 migrants at the third interview, allowing for non-response rates and attrition rates.


The findings from the LisNZ will be used to inform broad immigration policy, particularly in the areas of immigration selection and settlement policies. In addition, the findings will assist a variety of agencies and community groups in developing services for migrants. More detailed analysis will be carried out and reported by the Department of Labour at a later date. The survey sample was selected from migrants aged 16 years and over (excluding refugees) who were approved for permanent residence in New Zealand from 1 November 2004 to 31 October 2005. Wave 1 interviews were conducted between 1 May 2005 and 30 April 2007, and wave 2 interviews between 1 May 2006 and 30 April 2008. The number of interviewed respondents (both onshore and offshore applicants) totalled 7,137 and 6,156 for wave 1 and wave 2, respectively. This release reports on the 6,156 longitudinal respondents (interviewed at both waves). For wave and longitudinal respondent definitions, refer to the technical notes of this release. Along with a description of the immigration approval categories used in this Hot Off The Press, this release focuses on changes in aspects of migrants’ settlement experiences in New Zealand and on their outcomes in the labour market since their first interview.

Main users of the data

Statistics New Zealand and the Department of Labour.

Usage and limitations of the data
  1. SNZ (Statistics New Zealand) had released unit-records of all three waves of the survey with estimation weights in SNZ data lab as well as DoL (Department of Labour) data lab for users of the data. All external users are required to comply with the requirements of the Statistics Act 1975.
  2. These output datasets will be used by DoL, SNZ researchers and other users of the data on an ongoing basis for ad hoc research and policy development for such time as is considered appropriate.
  3. The Department Labour will be the main user of LisNZ data for research, however SNZ research groups may also access the data. Currently researchers and analysts from Population Statistics as well as Social Conditions are currently accessing LisNZ data for research.

11 Other

Related Documentation

Attrition in the Longitudinal Immigration Survey: New Zealand


DoL data dictionary - Wave 3 (Contains description of all available variables in the LisNZ output tables)


DOL Codebook - Wave 3 (Contains all the coding and classifications used in all LisNZ variables)


LisNZ Output Datasets - Physical Model Diagrams


LisNZ Table Builder Tables


LisNZ Research Reports


LisNZ Survey Information




Population, Migration
Demography, Education, Health, Settlement, Housing, Employment, Social, Living arrangement
November2004 - September2010

Data Collection

LisNZ Data Collection en-NZ
Data Collection Date
Data Collection Frequency
Intended Frequency
1st round of interviews May 2005 to May 2007 2nd round of interviews May 2006 to May 2008 3rd round of interviews Nov 2007 to Nov 2009.



The survey involves a longitudinal design where the same migrants are interviewed three times over a period of three years. Individual migrants (as opposed to household units), are used for the selection of the LisNZ sample, the collection of data, and the analysis of the results from the survey.

The survey was designed to produce estimates for several subpopulations defined by immigration approval category and region of origin. It was estimated that 5,000 completed interviews in wave 3 would produce estimates of the required accuracy. A large initial sample was required to achieve this target and a stratified systematic random design was used to achieve this.

A sample of 12,202 migrants was randomly selected to participate in the survey. The migrants that were interviewed at wave 1 were then followed up for interview in wave 2 and 3.

Data collection method The sample of migrants (both onshore and offshore) was selected from 1 November 2004 to 31 October 2005. As offshore migrants can arrive in New Zealand at any time up to 12 months after residence approval, the offshore arrival period is from 1 November 2004 to 31 October 2006. Consequently, the wave 1 interviews occurred between 1 May 2005 and 30 April 2007. Wave 2 interviews occured 12 months after the first interview, between 1 May 2006 and 30 April 2008.

The LisNZ was conducted using computer-assisted face-to-face interviews. The questionnaire was translated into each of the designated survey languages.


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