National’s disastrous 2012 now has an official measure with 53,676 New Zealanders leaving for Australia because of the Government’s economic mismanagement, says Labour Leader David Shearer.
"This is the largest number of people to depart for Australia in any calendar year since records began in 1978. It is an absolute indictment of this Government’s failure to provide Kiwis with the opportunities they need to get ahead in their own country.
"What’s shocking is that 21,588 (40.2%) of those who left in the year to December 2012 are aged between 18 and 30. We are losing our young, talented Kiwis because they can’t find jobs here. That’s no surprise given our unemployment rate of 7.3 per cent and the fact that on average working Australians are almost $150 a week better off.
"Since John Key took office, almost 182,000 New Zealanders have left for Australia. The numbers are truly staggering. John Key’s legacy is his empty promise to stem the flow of Kiwis across the Tasman. Instead he has delivered a record exodus.
"New Zealanders are voting with their boarding passes and leaving National’s New Zealand for a brighter future in Australia. That’s because they know this Government has no plan to boost growth, create jobs or increase wages.
"The fact National is relying on the Canterbury re-build to rescue our economy shows it has no ideas for growth.
"There is a better way, a Labour way. Kiwis want a hands-on government that is willing to get stuck in and be a player, not a spectator. Labour has a vision of a high-tech, high-growth and high-wage New Zealand. We will take the steps necessary to make that happen," said David Shearer.