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Thursday, August 21

Aussie exodus reaches city-like proportions

The number of people leaving to live in Australia in the past 12 months would have almost enough numbers to start an entire city of their own, says National's Immigration spokesman, Lockwood Smith.

Dr Smith is commenting on the figures for international travel and migration for the year ended July, just released by Statistics New Zealand.

"For the year ended July, 80,872 people left New Zealand to live somewhere else. This is the highest loss for a year ended July since 1979, and the second highest loss ever.

"However, the loss of people to Australia is even more alarming.

"45,731 people left to live in Australia. This is the highest-ever loss for a year ended July in recorded history and is only 4,000 short of being enough people to constitute a city.

"Labour tries to cover up its failure to keep people in New Zealand by pointing to net migration figures. However, the net loss to Australia in the year ended July was 32,344. This is the highest-ever net loss for a year ended July and represents a staggering 27% increase from the previous year.

"Eight years ago, an incoming Helen Clark was reported as saying she was ashamed of the number of people leaving to live in Australia.

"Labour has squandered its opportunities to keep these people here. They have gone because of Labour policies that have resulted in record food and fuel prices, unaffordable homes, punitive taxation rates, and an increasingly unwanted interference in their lives.

"It is little wonder they have voted with their feet."