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More Kiwis cross the ditch

Hon Dr Lockwood Smith National Party Immigration Spokesman

22 February 2006

More Kiwis cross the ditch

The growing gap in after-tax incomes between New Zealanders and their Australian counterparts is prompting more and more Kiwis to cross the ditch for good, says National's Immigration Spokesman, Lockwood Smith.

Latest Statistics New Zealand figures show the number of people leaving permanently, compared with those returning home permanently, have increased from 11,200 to 18,100 to 25,000 in the past three years.

"Most of them were New Zealanders crossing the ditch to Australia - 22,500 out of the 25,000 in fact," says Dr Smith.

"The figures back what National Party Leader Don Brash has been saying for some time - Labour is stifling ambition and aspiration with a tax regime that punishes hard work. That's precisely why the number of New Zealanders leaving for good is again on the rise.

"Though attracting new skilled immigrants is important, it is even more important to retain our own skilled people, our own New Zealanders.

"For the net loss of New Zealanders to more than double in the past three years is an indictment on the current Labour Government's policies," says Dr Smith.

ENDS

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