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Wave Good-Bye To 50,000th Kiwi This Year

Labour Leader

06 December 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Wave Good-Bye To 50,000th Kiwi This Year

The number of people giving up on building a future in New Zealand is an indictment of the Government’s economic failure, says Labour Leader David Shearer.

According to Labour’s calculations, today will see the 50,000th New Zealander this year board a plane with a one-way ticket for a new life in Australia.

“In 2008 John Key said that 28,000 people leaving a year was a vote of no confidence in Helen Clark’s Government. What does that make the departure of more than 50,000 a year?

“John Key hasn’t just failed to stem the flow; in fact his National Government has sat by as the numbers giving up on New Zealand have turned from a steady stream into a full-on flood.

“Since National came into office over 173,000 Kiwis have moved permanently across the Tasman. That’s more than the combined population of Dunedin and the Gisborne District.

“We simply can’t afford to keep on losing so many people to Australia. We are seeing the hollowing out of New Zealand and the National Government has no idea how to turn the tide.

“Not only is New Zealand’s unemployment rate almost 2% higher than in Australia (7.3% compared with 5.4%), but in the last four years the gap in gross average weekly wages has increased by almost $28 to nearly $150 a week.

“This is John Key’s legacy. After four years of National, the only way people can close the wage gap with Australia is to move there. This Government is turning New Zealand into a finishing school for future Australians.

“It’s just not good enough. New Zealand needs a hands-on government that will get stuck in and back Kiwi workers, businesses and families looking to get into their first homes.

“We need to create a smart, green, high-wage economy - one that gives people hope for the future here in New Zealand,” says David Shearer.

NOTE: Wage figures drawn for data compiled by the Parliamentary Library


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