The top line of this graph (gross migration) represents the annual total of all migrants to New Zealand; the bottom line (net migration) represents those who arrived each year minus those who left. The graph shows the considerable influx in the first two years of the 1840s, followed by a decline which revived only with the establishment of Otago and Canterbury settlements at the end of the decade. There was a steady inflow in the 1850s before the gold rushes prompted the spectacular increases of the early 1860s.
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Source: Statistics New Zealand; Sample of death registers, ‘Peopling’ project, Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Wellington