Yet another all-time record has been set for the number of Kiwis leaving for Australia. The National Government just cannot continue with this dishonest head-in-the-sand approach to what can only be described as an exodus.
The latest figures show a net loss of 39,956 people to Australia in the year to August 2012 – the biggest loss ever.
More than 166,000 Kiwis have given up on a future in this country and moved to Australia since John Key became the Prime Minister. That’s the equivalent of three Invercargills and then some!
In 2008 National candidates promised over and over again to reverse the brain drain. But since they’ve gotten into Government they’ve: cut wages, cut access to education, cut services, increased GST on the poorest so they could pay for tax breaks for their mates, and thrown thousands and thousands and thousands of New Zealanders on the unemployment scrapheap.
It just seems National is unwilling to take the steps that New Zealanders know are needed to get out economy moving again. Things like:
- Rebuilding our export and manufacturing heart through monetary reforms that will drive a more stable and realistic exchange rate, instead of heading for dollar parity with the US dollar,
- Creating more local savings available for positive local businesses to grow and employ Kiwis who might otherwise jump the ditch, through measures like universal KiwiSaver and pro-growth tax reform,
- Revving up our innovation engine through R&D tax credits, increased direct investment, and better linking out research institutes, universities and businesses together,
- Building high performance work places that enhance productivity and pay good wages with decent conditions. Finance Minister Bill English actually seems to love the idea of a “low cost” and low waged economy. Everyone else wants New Zealand to be a high value economy,
- Actively partnering with regions and industry sectors to create sustainable growth and strong communities all around New Zealand.
Unless we do these things, unless we have the courage to make changes, then the terrible slide currently underway will continue and the numbers of skilled young Kiwis giving up on a future here will continue to grow. These are not just words. We are talking about real humans struggling through an economic crisis, and unless New Zealand has a government that is prepared to act strongly and decisively to deal with it then we are on a road to ruin.
Ultimately this emigration crisis cannot be sustained, either by New Zealand or by Australia.
There is a terrible hollowing out of young people who want to make a contribution, and this will jeopardise Kiwi healthcare and superannuation in the decades to come.
Even the Australians are fed up. Across the ditch Government MP Kelvin Thompson is working to stop the free movement of people between our countries. If he is successful, without any jobs or hope at home, then the result could potentially be serious unrest in New Zealand.
John Key has had four years and the evidence is clear. National’s dishonest promises are not matched by workable policies. That party need to pull their heads out of the sand and look at how out of whack they’ve gotten New Zealand with the OECD orthodoxy.
How many Kiwis need to head for the departure lounges before this Government wakes up? How much damage has to be done to New Zealand and our shared future before they take off the ideological blinkers?
How much hope needs to be destroyed before National takes the responsibility they promised to take when they were trying to win the election?