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Government Panics Over Worsening Brain Drain

Government Panics Over Worsening Brain Drain

Friday 9th Feb 2001 Penny Webster Media Release -- Other

The Government’s attempts to lure more skilled migrants to New Zealand demonstrate its panic and inability to cope with the increasing numbers of skilled Kiwis leaving our shores, ACT Immigration Spokesman Penny Webster said.

“While ACT agrees with encouraging skilled people to come here we don’t see simply increasing the numbers of skilled immigrants as any sort of answer to the torrent of extremely talented New Zealanders deciding they no longer have a future at home.

“A record 30,462 skilled Kiwis shipped out in the last calendar year. Our net loss of skilled people has shown a worsening trend since this Government came to power – contrary to what the coalition keeps trying to tell us. In the year ended December 2000 there was a net loss of 6406 skilled people – compared with a loss of 4228 a year earlier.

“This Government’s policies have been driving people away. Our low growth means that Kiwis see more opportunities overseas. The Government needs to act now to provide policies which create sustainable growth and increase standards of living so that our gifted young people once more see their home as a place where they have a future. I question whether under current policies we will be able to attract more skilled immigrants. Unless things change I also wonder how many of the new immigrants we will actually be able to keep here.

“It is a tragedy that Helen Clark doesn’t talk about improving the economy and everyone’s lot. She just talks about redistribution. At the moment this means redistributing less and less.

“This latest move is simply applying a sticking plaster to a huge problem – not providing a lasting cure,” 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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