A history of the New Zealand immigration experience and policy is reviewed in this paper. Data from the 1981 and 1996 New Zealand Censuses are used to illustrate changes in the characteristics of immigrants, as well as labor outcomes. The decline in the income of recent immigrants over the period studied is found mainly to be due to changes in the region-oforigin composition. Immigrants are found to have lower income than natives upon arrival. However, income parity is reached after 20-30 years of residence. Immigrants with English speaking background do substantially better in the New Zealand labor market, relative to migrants with non-English speaking background.