This graph presents the annual figures for total (gross) immigration, net migration (which takes into account those who left the country), and assisted immigration (those whose fares were paid in part by the government). It shows that the years of major migration were 1874 and 1875, 1878 and 1879, with a brief revival in 1883 and 1884. 1874 saw the largest net increase in New Zealand history until 2002. These were also years when there was substantial government assistance.
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Source: Statistics New Zealand