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The number of people leaving New Zealand over a 12-month period has reached a 29-year high, says National's Immigration spokesman, Lockwood Smith.
Dr Smith is commenting on the latest migration statistics which reveal that more than 79,000 people left New Zealand in the 12 months ended April 2008.
"That compares to 71,194 in the year ended April 2007 and translates to 217 people a day or more than 1,500 a week. The number of people leaving has turned into a stampede."
Dr Smith says the number of people choosing Australia as their preferred place to live continues to pick up pace as well, with more than 44,000 leaving in the past 12 months – an increase of almost 20% on the 12 months prior.
"The floodgates have well and truly opened, and Kiwis are flocking to a country that rewards hard work and gives people more of their money back in the form of successive tax cuts.
"It has never been clearer that people are disillusioned with a nanny-state government that has lost touch with their needs, has contributed to massive hikes in the cost of living, and has failed to improve after-tax incomes."