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Bill’s Diaspora Data Disaster


David
Parker
Spokesperson for Finance

2 August 2012 Media Statement

Bill’s Diaspora Data Disaster

Bill English’s ignorance of heartland Kiwis heading to Australia shows National are neglecting the regions, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.

“Bill English is so out of touch with the regions he doesn’t know that the heartland is heading to Australia. I’ve pushed him on the numbers of Kiwis leaving the regions but yesterday he claimed those statistics don’t exist.

“Kiwi towns and regions are losing thousands of people a year to Australia. It’s a big issue and it should be at the top of Bill English’s concerns but he doesn’t know it’s happening.

“National think they’ve tied up the farmers’ vote so they’re taking the regions for granted. Labour believes that strong regions will be key to a growing modern economy.

“It’s time Bill English and the National government woke up to the record numbers of New Zealanders leaving for Australia.”

Hansard Excerpt
Hon DAVID PARKER (Labour) to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by his statement regarding migration to Australia “What’s the point of standing in the airport crying about it?”; if so, are the numbers of people leaving New Zealand from the regions being replaced by people moving into the regions from elsewhere in New Zealand or overseas?
Hon BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Finance) : Yes. I stand by my full statement, which went on to say “We’ve just got to compete.”, because I believe that that is the case. We need to compete for our young people by doing everything we can to provide more affordable housing and higher-paying jobs. As to the second part of the question, as I understand it, there are no regional statistics that specifically isolate the number of people leaving any particular region to move overseas. The statistics that do exist for population in the regions show that almost all the regions are increasing in their population. The one significant negative is in the Canterbury region, and that is for understandable reasons.

ENDS

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