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Emigration still trendy

Written By: - Date published: 1:15 pm, February 27th, 2009 - 23 comments
Categories: im/migration - Tags:

Herald: “Almost 1000 a week leaving for Australia. The flood of migrants across the Tasman continues unabated, with latest figures showing New Zealanders leaving at a rate approaching 1000 a week, breaking a 20-year record.”

But, guys, come back. We’ve got a National government. No more of ‘that woman’, no more CFLs, no more nanny state and we’ve got tax cuts and fire at will, and.. guys?

What’s that you say? You say people don’t make migration decisions because of the Government or policies that have a relatively small effect on their quality of life?

You say that there is a decade-long migration cycle, and you say while net emigration to Australia now might be a record number, emigration is actually well-within historical precedent when you take population growth into account? But, every month last year Simon Power put out a press release telling us the world was ending because of emigration to Australia.

Wait, you say that, if anything, the major underlying drivers of the cycle are probably the wage gap and employment levels, which National/ACT doesn’t even look like addressing? Funny, I thought once we were allowed our incandescent bulbs again everyone would come back.

What’s that you say? They only have CFLs in Aussie? And you’re choosing to go there? Well, good riddance to you then.

23 comments on “Emigration still trendy”

  1. BLiP 1

    Another bunch of National Party election time talking points disintegrates under the harsh light of reality.

  2. bobo 2

    What a con that the media were all too willing to propagate, gets on my nerves how the media like guyon espiner reports the current tax cuts as “nationals” when they were budgeted under labour and he looked like a battered wife standing by his man (national) when he suggested National might have doubts on future tax cuts. Labour were hammered on this in the debating chamber that they couldn’t be “trusted” to follow through on any future tax cuts..

  3. jimbo 3

    Ha ha ha! Seriously? National comes to power after 9 years of Labour govt, in the middle of one of the greatest financial uphevals the world has seen, and you expect them to have stopped the outward migration within, what, 120 days or else it “proves” something?

    Bobo you are in dreamland if you believe anyone in the real world regards Labour’s dying breath tax cuts policy as the equivalent of “Labour delivering tax cuts” to the middle classes.

    There will no doubt be plenty to criticize about this National government, but you guys are basically just highlighting Labour’s failures when you talk about “Labour’s tax cuts” or highlight the flight to Aussie.

    When should we cut taxs? (1) Never; (2) When times are good economically; (3) When times are bad economically; or (4) When you need to do so to win an election.

    Labour philosophically believes (1). In the end, it was prompted into action by (4). I don’t think anyone really knows whether they support (2) or (3) – it will simply be the opposite of whatever the Govt does (i.e. following through with the promises will be bad, or alternatively, not cutting taxes will be bad – let’s wait and see which way the wind blows…).

    • Matthew Pilott 3.1

      Labour does not believe in (1) jimbo, that’s complete and utter simple-minded rubbish.

      Cutting taxes is not an absolute action. Your comment is like saying “a boxer always wants to punch their opponent”. might look right with a simple glance, but no reflection on reality.

      Imagine we had a regressive tax system – 50% for the first $20,000, and it dropped one percent one every extra thousand dollars. Would Labour want to cut that lower tax rate? Nope, not according to jimbo, never.

      You don’t imagine that Labour’s ideology means they want to tax society at a level that allows a strong set of social services to be applied, and that national is exactly the same, but with a different idea about what services should be provided and how much they want to spend on them?

      You forgot the more likely situation – when there is an excess of government income, and tax cuts will provide for growth without negative consequences. I guess it doesn’t have the flashy, but false sound of your four weak hypotheticals.

      Incidentally, why did Labour cut the corporate tax rate, jimbo? there was little public pressure for them to do so, it isn’t likely to have won them that many votes either. What do you suppose drove that action? I suspect you won’t find the answer in your 1-4 list.

  4. jimbo. Problem is, National’s answer is (5) All of the above

  5. SHG 5

    Ha ha ha! Seriously? National comes to power after 9 years of Labour govt, in the middle of one of the greatest financial uphevals the world has seen, and you expect them to have stopped the outward migration within, what, 120 days or else it “proves’ something?

    Exactly. As a Kiwi homeowner, parent, and small-business operator in Australia I most certainly DO make migration decisions based on Government and policies that have a small effect on my quality of life. If the National Government manages to turn NZ around I will consider returning home — and let me tell you, to even consider doing so is a big turnaround for me.

    Put it this way – when the EFA was first proposed I said “I will never move home to NZ while that law remains on the books”. By repealing it, NZ’s new government has removed one barrier to my return. I hope it removes others.

    • keith 5.1

      “Exactly. As a Kiwi homeowner, parent, and small-business operator in Australia I most certainly DO make migration decisions based on Government and policies that have a small effect on my quality of life.”

      Har! you make major decisions based on things that have a small effect on your life?? HAAHHHAH you’re retarded!! Come back, the national party will need thickies like you to vote for them next election.

  6. SHG “If the National Government manages to turn NZ around I will consider returning home”

    “small effect on my quality of life”

    Do you see the mismatch here? You’re expecting National to revolutionise NZ but their policies are small beer. you’re expecting an awful lot from a tax cuts that come to 2% of net pay for the wealthiest Kiwis.

    How would the EFA have affected your life? We had a fair and free election under it just a few months ago with a peaceful changeof government, no prosecuations for breaches, no secret campaigns but the Brethern et al.

  7. jimbo 7

    Steve – I must admit I really don’t know what any of the main parties believe between (2) and (3)…

    Labour seems to be a little bit stuck – I think it would like to say “cutting taxes now is irresponsible”, but it’s hard to do so when simultaneously is wants to be seen as the party that delivered the tax cuts.

    Labour will for a long time be known as the party that implemented a new top rate immediately upon winning power (with no real fiscal need to do so), then governed through many years of prosperity without being able to bring itself to cut personal tax rates. Each time Labour enters into the tax debate, everyone remembers this!

    SHG – I totally agree with you. Real change in the figures will only occur when we are years into this current term, not after 100 or so days.

    Australia is being governed by someone whose reponse to the financial crisis was to give his electorate $6000 (or whatever) to spend on Chinese-made flat screen TVs. As the commodities boom returns to being a commodities cycle, NZers will return to NZ. NZers in Europe will be the first to be made redundant from lawfirms and banks. There will be push and pull factors at work eventually.

  8. I should note that, of course, I’m not saying that National should have turned around emigration by now. I’m simply mocking the idea that National will be able to turn it around, as all the righties seemed to expect when they were crying that the sky was falling under Labour.

  9. jimbo 9

    To be fair Steve – and not intended as a low blow to the Left – but the fact the election result wasn’t challenged might be due to the fair amount of daylight between the victors and the chasing pack!

    I think SHG was saying that policies which don’t affect him PERSONALLY still play a part in his decision where to live and run his business. i.e. – it’s not just about “where do I pay the least tax” or “where do I get the most benefits”.

  10. jimbo 10

    Steve – I think the figures will move back over time. Some of it won’t be “thanks to National”, though.

  11. jimbo 11

    Matthew, you’re grasping.

    You’re seriously suggesting we all imagine NZ has a regressive tax system and hypothetically ask whether Labour would “cut taxes” to fix it? Pointless. Comical that you then tell me off for “weak hypotheticals”.

    The fact of the matter is that Labour (a) raised personal tax at the top level immediately upon entering government for no fiscal reason at all (although we all know what the policital reason was); then (b) consistently refused to lower personal tax rates throughout an extended boom period.

    You say tax cuts can happen when there is: “an excess of government income, and tax cuts will provide for growth without negative consequences.”

    Labour had income roaring in and chose to spend it on stupid bvllshit instead of cut taxes. Labour spent and spent and spent and spent rather than turn back to the electorate, say “thanks very much, time for you guys to share a bit more in the boom”.

    Sure, I don’t deny that corpoate tax was lowered. What’s your point? It’s hilarious that you believe this occurred without public pressure.

    • Matthew Pilott 11.1

      Grasping to point out that you are completely wrong? Pointless? I don’t think so.

      The example of corporate tax wasn’t a hypothetical and you can’t put that one down to public pressure – all the pressure has been on personal tax cuts. If you don’t believe that, then tell my why you tow out the line that “Labour will for a long time be known as the party that implemented a new top rate immediately upon winning power (with no real fiscal need to do so), then governed through many years of prosperity without being able to bring itself to cut personal tax rates. Each time Labour enters into the tax debate, everyone remembers this!” with nary a mention of the corporate tax rate.

      Public pressure, yet at the time that no one noticed nor now seems to remember, according to your own views huh? Hilarious indeed.

      “…thanks very much, time for you guys to share a bit more in the boom’.

      What was WfF then? Interest free student loans? Cheaper healthcare? Cheaper childcare? Massive pay increases for doctors and nurses? They put that money into society, but did it more carefully that the blunt instrument of a tax cut. And your original assertion Labour philisophically believes in never cutting taxes is still rubbish, but I guess you didn’t believe it yourself – you think it was pointless for me to disprove it and I’m inclined to agree with you there.

  12. Ianmac 12

    Steve:”I should note that, of course, I’m not saying that National should have turned around emigration by now.” Really? Since for a year or so, it had seemed almost certain that Labour would lose the election, those who apparently blamed Labour for their shift to Australia, would have suspended their decision to shift. Therefore I would have expected a significant change in the stats by now.
    However recent reports of the significant increase in unemployment in Australia should have caused a surge of folk returning. I understand that you can’t get the dole in Australia unless you have become a citizen.
    If there was a surge returning, wouldn’t that cause more problems for NZ and our employment/housing problems?

    • SHG 12.1

      Since for a year or so, it had seemed almost certain that Labour would lose the election, those who apparently blamed Labour for their shift to Australia, would have suspended their decision to shift.

      I can only speak for myself, but I didn’t move to Australia because of the Labour government; I moved to Australia because NZ was a mess and because Australia represented a brighter future, both professionally and for my family. Similarly, the arrival of a National government doesn’t mean I’m moving home; it will take NZ becoming not-a-mess for me to consider it.

      Put it this way, since moving to Australia: I have doubled my take home pay; my partner and I have had a beautiful son, who was delivered in a private hospital by an obstetrician (are there any left in NZ?) and we received a cash payout from the Australian government to cover birth and early-childhood expenses; I have purchased a beautiful home with assistance from the Australian government and obtained a mortgage at a rate almost half that of the rate in NZ at the time; we live within walking distance of three fantastic primary schools with no waiting list to take our son; the list goes on and on.

      It will take a lot more than 100 days of a new government to improve the health, education, and economic systems of NZ to a point where I’d feel like I wasn’t hurting my family’s prospects by moving home.

      • RedLogix 12.1.1

        I have doubled my take home pay;

        Under National in the 90’s, take home pay in NZ stagnated and the gap the Australia increased. It took Labour quite a few years to stop the gap increasing, and in the last few years it was almost beginning to close in some sectors.

        In essence you fled to Australia to avoid a wage gap created in the 90’s by a National govt.

        who was delivered in a private hospital by an obstetrician

        About 90% of childbirth should be a relatively normal non-medical affair. Both my children were born at home with very little in the way of problems. If you NEED an obstetrician in NZ, you will get one, but what you seem to be expressing about childbirth seems more driven by ignorance and fear than anything necessary.

        we received a cash payout from the Australian government to cover birth and early-childhood expenses

        Just the introduction of Working for Families was greeted with howls of outrage and despair from the right in NZ, imagine if Labour had tried to add on a program like that, or heaven forbid, introduce decent paid maternity leave?

        purchased a beautiful home with assistance from the Australian government

        Again all such schemes were greeted here with cries of creeping communism, and ‘let the sacred free market rule’ it’s more efficient.

        obtained a mortgage at a rate almost half that of the rate in NZ at the time

        From the same banks that are raping New Zealand customers for record profits that they repatriate home to Australia. No wonder they call Aussie the ‘lucky country’. The NZ OCR has dropped close to 3% in a few months, and you can see deposit rates of 3.6% being offered in your local branch… but the huge majority of mortgage customers are locked into 2-5 year fixed rate terms that the Aussie banks charge massive fees (tens of thousands) to break, so most of us are still paying mortgage rates in the range 8-10%.

        And the current National govt hasn’t so much as said boo about it.

        we live within walking distance of three fantastic primary schools with no waiting list to take our son

        All white kiddies too I’ll bet.

  13. jimbo 13

    Matthew – you’re typical of the position that most voters got annoyed with. Instead of giving tax cuts during boom times, Labour spent it ALL (plus some, we’ve since discovered) on welfare programs (WFF) and social spending.

    I don’t know if you’re doing it to be funny, but you’re simply proving the point. Most people wanted (at least some!) tax cuts so that they could also be involved in the decision on how to spend it and improve their lives during the unprecedented boom. Labour had so much money sloshing around that at one stage they were going to float stadiums above Auckland harbour…

    Now let’s be clear – I believe NZ needs welfare programs and public spending. But Labour GAVE NONE OF IT BACK, despite your attempts to paint various spending programs as examples of them doing so. That was stupid, arrogant and, frankly, indicative of some sort of mental block against ever giving personal tax cuts.

    Let’s have the argument by all means, but the history cannot be rewritten.

    Re corporate tax, I think you’ll find the majority of corporates don’t need to campaign through the media. Cullen was HATED by business and under intense pressure from certain enterprises planning to move offshore (which would have looked incredibly bad politically). If you think the corporate tax cuts were given up by Cullen without a fight, well again you’re in dreamland.

    • Matthew Pilott 13.1

      If you think the corporate tax cuts were given up by Cullen without a fight, well again you’re in dreamland.

      Please stop making things up if you want to engage in a real debate.

      That’s an interesting point you made about pressure from the private sector – of couse that’s also against your original assertion (which I note you’re no longer even bothering to try and defend, fair enough) since we’re not talking about public pressure and the need to win an election. If the public knew about that type of pressure the real losers would be the corporates.

      You’re position is typical of the spin that suckered people – that WfF was welfare. Is national’s ‘Independant earners rebate’ a benefit or ‘welfare’? If not, why not?

      I think you have a very limited grasp on, or ability to express your ideas of government finances, if you’re talking about these big surpluses as money sloshing around. Another thing National was very good at getting people to believe – of course the reality is nothing of the sort.

      Now let’s be clear – I believe NZ needs welfare programs and public spending. But Labour GAVE NONE OF IT BACK, despite your attempts to paint various spending programs as examples of them doing so. That was stupid, arrogant and, frankly, indicative of some sort of mental block against ever giving personal tax cuts.

      This argument has been had till the cows failed to come home and it’s still going on. You say it’s a ‘mental block’ against tax cuts, I say it was similar but better since it was targeted. Look at the net effect jimbo – people have more money in their hands, but the government decided who should get that money. I think it was a good idea, giving tax cuts, effectively, to families with children. You disagree – but let’s not paint it as them hoarding the money and spending it on ‘spending programmes’.

  14. bobo 14

    Jimbo can you explain why Australia has record numbers leaving there as well? Can’t have it both ways.

  15. SHG 15

    Under National in the 90?s, take home pay in NZ stagnated and the gap the Australia increased. It took Labour quite a few years to stop the gap increasing, and in the last few years it was almost beginning to close in some sectors.

    In essence you fled to Australia to avoid a wage gap created in the 90?s by a National govt.

    You didn’t read what I posted. I said “since moving to Australia I have doubled my take-home pay”. That is to say, I am now making twice as much as I did in my first job in Australia.

    If you NEED an obstetrician in NZ, you will get one, but what you seem to be expressing about childbirth seems more driven by ignorance and fear than anything necessary.

    When the mother-to-be of my child says she wants an obstetrician, and a private room in a private hospital, that’s what she gets. Still, I’m sure Moonbeam Earthchild with her 3-week course in holistic midwifery from Northland Polytechnic would have done a bang-up job too.

    All white kiddies too I’ll bet.

    Probably. Still, we speak a mixture of English and Te Reo Maori at home, and he’s secure enough in himself already that I’m confident his being the only brown face in class won’t scar him for life or anything.

  16. RedLogix 16

    That is to say, I am now making twice as much as I did in my first job in Australia.

    But clearly you are also implying a comparison with NZ where wages are lower. I was merely pointing out how that gap had come about and that it was a National govt policies that was the prime culprit.

    The other probable reason why your wages have doubled, is a mere question of opportunity. The vast majority of Kiwis are employed in SME’s with fewer than 10 employees. In such small organisations good competent people very quickly reach the ceiling of what the organisation can support. That’s why it’s very common to seek improvement by moving jobs here, and once you start moving, then the leap over the ditch is a pretty easy one to make. And as a matter of simple size Aussie will ALWAYS offer more opportunity, regardless of who is in govt here in NZ. It’s the same with all big/small country relationships.

    When the mother-to-be of my child says she wants an obstetrician, and a private room in a private hospital, that’s what she gets.

    If your partner needs the perceived security of that is a choice, and you are willing to pay for, I’ve no quibble at all. But don’t claim that you are necessarily any better off for it, or that it is in any way a better choice.

    Still, I’m sure Moonbeam Earthchild with her 3-week course in holistic midwifery from Northland Polytechnic would have done a bang-up job too.

    Either you’re just being a prat, or really you actually know nothing about midwifery. Because the midwives I’ve met or known were all the most deeply competent and capable specialists you could hope to meet.

    Still, we speak a mixture of English and Te Reo Maori at home

    OK so you got me there. I guess I was puzzled as to why you had put that last one in about the schools, and I went fishing for a deeper response. Lotsa kiwi brown faces in Australia, many of whom have done exceedingly well for themselves. Far better than any hope they may have had if they had stayed on here. I’ve often wondered if the reason for that consistent success was because that in moving to Aus it got them out from under the crushing burden of low expectations foisted upon them from childhood…. by their own people.

    And if that ultimately is the prime reason why you or your partner will never move back to New Zealand, even as much as part of your hearts is still buried under a mountain here.

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