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More Skilled People Leaving NZ Than Ever Before

06 MARCH 2001

More skilled people left New Zealand in the past 12 months than ever before, ACT Leader Hon Richard Prebble said.

“Statistics New Zealand figures out today show that in the 12 months to the end of January a net 6,611 skilled kiwis left our shores. While there have been years when more New Zealanders have left, there has never been a year when more skilled people have left.

“There is a flood of New Zealanders heading to Australia prior to the implementation of the new Social Security agreement that strips NZers going to Australia of any benefits.

“We’ve just also had the worst January since comparable records were kept – with a net 959 people leaving.

“Helen Clark’s Government has kept trying to tell us that it is getting the brain drain under control. These figures confirm what we at ACT already knew. This Government’s stifling policies are sending more and more of our bright young things offshore to find a better future.

“The Government’s panicky response to this has been to try and lure more skilled immigrants to come here, but I would suggest they need to do a bit more than that.

“Our skilled people can’t see a way of advancing themselves in Helengrad. Until sensible policies that promote economic growth and a rise in living standards are pursued then there seems little chance these figures will reverse.

“The test in future months will be whether the change in the social security agreement halts the flow of skilled New Zealanders. I predict it won’t. The only people who Helen Clark has made prisoners in New Zealand are the unskilled -–her own Labour voters,” Hon Richard Prebble said.


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