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Migration Trend Reveals Skills Exodus

Migration Trend Reveals Skills Exodus

Wednesday 21 Jul 2004

Dr Muriel Newman - Press Releases - Immigration

Migration statistics released today paint a worsening picture of skilled New Zealanders leaving the country permanently, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader and Immigration Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"This data - released by Statistics NZ - shows that, despite net immigration of nearly 80,000 people since Labour's election in 1999, there is a net loss of 2,064 skilled New Zealanders," Dr Newman said.

"This is supported by growing concern among small-medium business about skills shortages - as well as a recent National Bank survey showing that difficulties in finding skilled staff had, for the first time, topped Government regulations and red tape as business' biggest problem.

"What was briefly getting better is now getting worse. Skilled departures have now exceeded skilled arrivals for the past four months straight, and of particular concern is the growing number of Kiwi citizens who are leaving New Zealand permanently.

"The net permanent departure of New Zealand citizens has accelerated in the past year. In the year to June 2003 a net 11,500 Kiwis left permanently. In the year to June 2004, the net number had risen 30 percent, to 15,000.

"These are not all young people off on their OE, as Labour spin would suggest. Many are established families leaving good jobs. It is not a decision families take lightly, and does not warrant casual dismissal by the Government.

"Rather than burying its head in the sand, Labour must address the things driving skilled New Zealanders overseas. A good start would be reducing tax rates, addressing soaring rates of violent crime, reversing the failed NCEA experiment in schools, and rolling back the rampant political correctness which threatens to make this country a laughing stock."

"New Zealand desperately needs consistency in immigration policy, based on our long-term interests, not on whether Winston has put out a news release this week," Dr Newman said.

ENDS


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