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Stats highlight long-standing economic issues

Bill English MP National Party Finance Spokesman

22 October 2008

New migration stats highlight long-standing economic issues

National Party Finance spokesman Bill English says the latest migration stats serve as a reminder that New Zealand has major fundamental economic issues that were around long before the current international crisis came along.

"Over the past nine years Labour has totally failed to deal with the causes of this wave of emigration. The latest statistics underline the critical need to improve economic growth, cut needless red tape, and introduce more focused government spending." More than 82,000 people left New Zealand in the past year. That is the highest loss for a year ended September since 1979 and the second-highest total loss of people for a year ended September in recorded history.

"At least 47,000 of these people went to Australia. These are the same people who Michael Cullen described as 'innumerate' and said 'we were probably better off without them'.

"In the past 12 months, New Zealand experienced the highest total loss of people to Australia for a year ended September in recorded history. The net loss to Australia is up a staggering 30 percent from the same time last year."

Mr English says the increasing pace of the exodus shows New Zealand needs to grow - so Kiwis can enjoy higher wages and a better quality of life here at home.

"The reality is that the current crisis makes it more important to deal with these underlying problems, or we are heading for slow growth and Labour's decade of deficits.

"Australians have enjoyed year-on-year tax cuts, while New Zealanders have had to wait nine long years.

"And Kiwis are sick of being told how to live their lives. They don't want to be told how much water can flow through their showers, how big their hot water cylinder can be, or what sort of light bulbs they can use.

"National has been rolling out a considered and thoughtful plan that offers security and promotes growth and productivity.

"We will bring more discipline to government spending, we will deal with the roadblocks holding back growth, including a kick start for infrastructure, the reform of the RMA, and the Building Act, and tax cuts that provide the right incentives for people to get ahead under their own steam."

ENDS


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