Christchurch is being urged to hold on to its migrant workers.
40 percent of skilled and business migrants now settle in Auckland, compared with more than 50 percent, five years ago.
LISTEN ABOVE: Massey University's Dr Paul Spoonley discusses the data with Tim Dower
Canterbury is the second most popular region for migrants to settle in.
But Massey University immigration expert Paul Spoonley says that could change, if the jobs don't stay.
"The rebuild will come to and end. Now if Christchurch and Canterbury is smart about it, they will then find places for those temporary workers, because they've proven to be very good immigrants."
Since 2015, skilled and business migrants have been given extra points towards residency for living in the regions.
Of the 12,100 who arrived last year, just under 4,900 stayed in Auckland.
Canterbury, Wellington and Waikato were the next three most popular destinations.
In the 2012-2013 year, 51 percent of migrants settled in Auckland.