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Census shows regional exodus under Nats

David Cunliffe
Labour Leader

14 October 2013

Census shows regional exodus under Nats

Census data being released tomorrow will depict a widespread exodus from the regions as provincial New Zealanders flee small towns forgotten by the National Government, Labour Leader and Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe says.

“Labour understands data being released tomorrow will show Kiwis are leaving towns that have been gutted by the hands off approach of this National Government.

“Something must be done to turn around the compounding effect on our regions of an aging population and a loss of opportunities.

“Job losses, factory closures, government cut backs and the shutting of branch offices have left people in the regions with no choice but to leave in droves.

“Manufacturing is stagnating, economic development has been limited to glossy brochures and a few roads, mortgage restrictions are being unfairly applied to the provinces and tax biases are driving money from the regions into the Auckland property market.

“More than 27,000 people from Waikato have moved to Australia since the last Census, 22,600 from the Bay of Plenty and 11,500 from Northland.

“Over the same period 4,800 workers have lost their jobs in the Manawatu-Wanganui region, 4,700 in Otago and 3,400 in Gisborne-Hawkes Bay. Meanwhile, real median weekly incomes have dropped since the last Census by $45 in Southland, $50 in Waikato and $24 in Taranaki.

“A Labour government will revitalise our manufacturing and export industries and breathe life back into provincial New Zealand. We will be a hands-on government which will work with regional New Zealand to get the best out of our provinces.

“A Labour government will harness our innovation potential and can-do attitude by funding research and development and creating a value-added economy which benefits all New Zealanders,” David Cunliffe says.

ENDS

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