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Skilled New Zealanders Leave in Record Numbers

Tuesday 21st Nov 2000
Penny Webster Media Release -- Other

More health professionals and tertiary teachers left New Zealand in the past 12 months than ever before, ACT Immigration Spokesman Penny Webster said today.

Commenting on Statistics New Zealand migration figures, Mrs Webster said 778 health professionals and 233 tertiary teaching professionals left in the year to the end of October. In addition, the number of special education teachers leaving was also a record, at 126.

“This continues the disturbing trend of increasing numbers of highly skilled – and much needed professional people leaving our shores,” said Mrs Webster.

“Tertiary and health institutions around the country report shortages of skilled staff – and yet these figures show that more and more of those same skilled people are now deciding their futures lie in another country – meaning the situation here will only get worse.

“I note that the Government discussed shortages of radiotherapy staff and a ‘drastic’ shortage of psychiatrists in Parliament today, with Health Minister Annette King saying that attempts are being made to recruit specialists from overseas. What we really need to be doing is stopping our talented people leaving.

“In the year to the end of October we lost 19,403 of our skilled people – which is again the highest 12 month figure since records were first kept in 1991.

“While the number of skilled arrivals in the country is also running at record levels, we still saw a record net loss of 5,497 skilled people in the 12-month period.

“This mass exodus of our most skilled and talented New Zealanders is of huge concern and a serious embarrassment to the Government,” Mrs Webster said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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