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Labour's Policies Making Ex-pat Kiwis Stay Away

Friday 12 Jul 2002

ACT Deputy Leader Ken Shirley said in London today that he was shocked by how few ex-pat Kiwis in the UK actually have any intention of returning to New Zealand until it becomes a more prosperous place.

"The consistent message I'm getting from young New Zealanders here is that they all want to return to New Zealand but they no longer see it as a first world country. They don't believe they can earn a decent living in New Zealand - but they can and do here.

"Kiwis here still see New Zealand as a great place to raise children - but they are telling me that's no longer good enough. They want the same sorts of opportunities to advance themselves that they see in the UK.

"This of course is what we've been saying to the Labour-led Government for the past two-and-a-half years. Labour's high tax policies are exactly the opposite of what's needed to attract our talented young people back to New Zealand.

"Since the election of Labour, 174,000 New Zealanders have left the country. Some 36,000 kiwis have left to live in the UK under this Government. These are people we could ill-afford to lose. Under Labour policies we have little chance of attracting them back. ACT's the only party campaigning for a tax cut for every New Zealand worker. The prospect of being able to earn more is what will bring our people home."

Mr Shirley has been campaigning in London for ACT and says he's been very well received by potential voters.

"ACT attracted 12.8 percent of the overseas vote in the last election and the feedback I've been getting suggests we'll do very well again. Our policies have a lot of appeal with the ex-pats here"

During his trip, which he paid for himself, Mr Shirley has taken part in a political debate with representatives of the Labour, Green and National Parties. In addition last night he hosted an election function at the Intercontinental Hyde Park Hotel. Mr Shirley's also been catching up with Kiwis in more informal settings such as some of the bars which are known to be popular haunts for ex-pats. He is returning to New Zealand early next week.


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