Record numbers of Kiwis vote with their feet

Thursday 23 June 2011, 6:33AM
By David Cunliffe

Record numbers of Kiwis leaving this country highlight the fact the Government is doing nothing to create jobs or close the wage gap with Australia, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson David Cunliffe.

Figures released today by Statistics New Zealand show the exodus across the Tasman hit record levels last month, with a net 3,300 Kiwis leaving New Zealand permanently in May, up from 1700 in May 2010 and 400 up on the previous record of 2900 set in 1979.

“These are the worst May figures for 32 years. Certainly the Christchurch earthquakes have had an impact, but the numbers leaving that city make up only a small part of the increase,” David Cunliffe said.

Departures from Christchurch were up 300 on May 2010, to 800, accounting for less than 10 per cent of the loss.

“The real truth is Kiwis are fed up with the Government’s rhetoric and are voting with their feet. The National Government is doing nothing to help create jobs and continues to do little about closing the wage gap, which now stands at 30 per cent, as Finance Minister Bill English proudly announced recently.

“The Government should be focused on growing jobs and increasing research and development. Instead it has no forward-thinking economic plan and blissfully ignores the spiraling cost of living,” David Cunliffe said.

Permanent long term departures to Australia numbered 4257, up from 2853 in May 2010, while permanent long term departures to Australia for the year ending May 2011 was 43,813, up from 30,982 for the previous year ending May 2010.