This morning’s Dom Post buys into National’s “Aussie exodus” spin with a lead story claiming “A staggering one in 10 voters are considering a move to Australia” in the next twelve months.
The facts, of course, are somewhat different. As we’ve shown before, as few as 0.67% of New Zealanders actually emigrate to any country each year, let alone to Australia, and these are more than made up for by skilled migrants from other countries. National’s “Aussie exodus” may be a myth, but you won’t find that out by reading this morning’s paper.
Of course, the survey’s finding that one in ten people surveyed is considering moving to Australia in the next year is hardly surprising – because of the last National Government’s policy on wages New Zealand and Australia now have a 30% wage gap, which is a major driver of Trans-Tasman migration.
Which makes the Dom’s next statement, that “National’s plan to campaign on narrowing the wage gap with Australia will strike a chord,” somewhat odd.
Surely if National’s policies increased the wage gap by 50% last time they were in power, and have so far refused to tell us what they’d actually do to lift wages, then our political reporters should be a little more critical of National’s plan to campaign on the issue?
So here’s a challenge for you Fairfax: Next week, instead of repeating pre-written spin or telling us about our own perceptions, why not do a front page investigation into why we got that wage gap with Australia in the first place and ask each party what they plan to do to fix it?