A 38 percent jump in the annual number of Chinese touching down in New Zealand has seen the world's most populous nation topple the UK as NZ's second-biggest pool for visitors, though still well behind Australia.
There were some 194,752 short-term Chinese arrivals in the 12 months ended November 30, up from 141,289 a year earlier and 1200,222 in 2010, according to Statistics New Zealand.
That trumped the 191,360 British short-term visitors, which fell an annual 17 percent, though is still dwarfed by the 1.16 million Australian visitors.
"Arrivals from China have grown dramatically in the last 20 years, from only 3,300 in 1992," said population statistics manager Andrea Blackburn.
"In contrast, visitor numbers from the United Kingdom have been declining for the last five years."
The rising number of Chinese visitors comes as New Zealand businesses look to engage more with the world's second-biggest economy.
About 71 percent of Chinese visitors in the November year came for a holiday, with 12 percent visiting friends or family, and 10 per cent coming to do business.
Friday's figures showed the number of short-term arrivals to New Zealand rose 0.8 percent to 232,119 in November from the same month a year earlier, underpinned by more Chinese and Australian visitors.
Long-term net migration increased by a seasonally adjusted 600 in November, with a net outflow of 1,600 in the year.
Kiwis continued to quit New Zealand for Australia, with 3,810 citizens departing in November, and 920 coming back.
Some 48,561 New Zealanders left the country for Australia on an annual basis, with 9,499 coming back, for a net outflow of 39,062.