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Prime Minister John Key said the brain drain to Australia is the only significant problem with New Zealand's business environment, according to a US diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks.
Net permanent departures from NZ to Aus hit a 30 year high of 3,147 in June this year, according to Statistics New Zealand.
The cable is entitled "MR. NICE GUY - NEW ZEALAND'S NEW OPPOSITION LEADER" and describes the time before Mr Key became New Zealand's prime minister.
A US diplomat asked Mr Key what National would do to improve the business climate in New Zealand and Mr Key had little to say, the leak reveals.
Mr Key declined the opportunity to bash Labour or describe how he would do things differently, the leak reveals.
In it, Mr Key describes how all New Zealanders have a "socialist streak".
He likened the New Zealand electorate to a bell curve, with most voters sitting comfortably in the middle.
For this reason, Key said National would not differentiate itself from Labour with a conservative economic program.
The leak reveals Mr Key said a move to the right would lose far more voters than it would gain.
"Key is also reluctant to show his hand because he fears Labour will adopt any popular ideas he
puts forward regarding, for example, tax cuts.