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National waving goodbye to our loved ones

Phil Goff
Labour Leader

19 August 2011

National waving goodbye to our loved ones

Record numbers of Kiwis leaving for Australia for the fourth month in a row are, in John Key’s own words, ‘a vote of no confidence’ in his Government, Labour Leader Phil Goff says.

“In February 2008 after immigration figures revealed 28,000 New Zealanders had left to cross the Tasman the previous year, the then opposition leader John Key was calling for the Prime Minister to resign.

“The numbers were, he said, a wake-up call for the Labour-led Government and further evidence of its failure to address the core issues,” Phil Goff said.

“Figures from Statistics NZ today, however, show 3113 Kiwis left for Australia last month, the highest July net emigration to Australia since records began in 1978, and that in the year to July 2011 41,462 Kiwis relocated across the Tasman.

“That’s almost 13500 more than the number who left in 2007. It’s a whole lot more people showing a lack of confidence in this current Government.

“In the same 2008 speech John Key also said ‘Kiwis are tired of waiting for tax cuts and improvements in their basic living conditions. That’s why record numbers of them are voting with their feet…Labour has [failed] to transform the economy to a level where many of these people want to stay’,” Phil Goff said.

“This National-led Government, then, by its own admission has failed miserably. It is in denial about the situation many Kiwi households find themselves in.

“Our Australian neighbours are still being paid a third more than we are, and that wage gap is widening. Unemployment here is static. The Government has done nothing to create jobs. People are rightly fed up.

“Labour will build a country where all new Zealanders can be confidant of a secure and prosperous future. We will create opportunities so that every Kiwi has the chance to get ahead in their own country,” Phil Goff said.


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