web analytics

How’s that change coming? – Emigration

Written By: - Date published: 12:02 am, April 7th, 2010 - 16 comments
Categories: im/migration - Tags: , ,

You’ll remember that one of John Key’s big election platforms was emigration to Australia. Key said too many (white-skinned) Kiwis were going over to Aussie, with the logical collarary that this meant we had to bring in lots of (brown-skinned) non-Kiwis to replace them.

Key told us, the solution to this ‘problem’, as with just about any other problem you care to name, was tax cuts.

Well, tax cuts we had. Labour’s across the board cuts in October 2008 and National’s smaller ones targeted at the rich in April 2009 (that they had to partially cancelled because, as economic geniuses, they had missed that we were in the middle of a global recession). What happened to the number of Kiwis heading over the ditch?

Must have dried up, right? That Nice Mr Key promised.

Sorry kids. There was a brief decrease in net emigration that I’m betting was caused by the same factor that has lowered the number of people leaving their jobs to look for other work in New Zealand – ie. every bugger was afraid of not being able to get work. But Aussie’s labour market has recovered strongly and its wages are moving along nicely while New Zealand continues to lose jobs and wages stagnate.

Sure enough, emigration to Aussie is on the rise again. Just one more promise that Key couldn’t keep.

So why didn’t tax cuts solve the problem? Because tax cuts don’t matter. People don’t know how much tax they pay and tax cuts make a one-off minor increase to net income. They simply cannot compete with wages as a driver of behaviour. People were never going to Aussie because of taxes, they were going to better pay (and better weather).

As we’ve been saying all along, it’s a cyclical thing. When Kiwis are confident about their jobs here and see Aussie doing well, they take a punt on going over. When conditions are bad there, they stay at home. Now, conditions are bad here and good there, and Kiwis are heading over again.

16 comments on “How’s that change coming? – Emigration ”

  1. gingercrush 1

    You’ll remember that one of John Key’s big election platforms was emigration to Australia. Apparantly too many (white-skinned) Kiwis were going over to Aussie, with the logical collarary that this meant we had to bring lots of (brown-skinned) non-Kiwis to replace them.

    Um no not really. But well done for showing us that underneath most of your illogical posts with crappy graphs is a racist. Your post actually might be really good. But I didn’t read it. Why would I when you come up with an appalling opening paragraph that speaks more about how you think than anything else.

    • Marty G 1.1

      i’m not the racist. I’m revealing the dog-whistle for those too blind to see.

      • mcflock 1.1.1


        If you give folk an excuse to switch off as soon as they read something, they don’t have have to spend all that effort finding loopholes and minor logical flaws and can get back to basking in the sunshine of our esteemed PM’s smile as soon as possible. 🙂

        Although the mixed metaphor of dog-whistles and blindness was a bit perplexing.

        Fine post BTW (dog-whistles notwithstanding) – I liked the way people came back for Xmas but the spike in emigration started in the New Year. Gotta love family values…

        • Marty G

          there aren’t many things my mate ginge wouldn’t do to avoid having to read 300 words. He’s not made of quarters of an hour, after all.

          oh, that explains the switches been dec and jan 🙂 I was trying to figure it out.

          • prism

            Think there is a Freudian slip on your graphs Marty – mitigation it looks like, instead of migration. Just checked dictionary for mitigate – to make or become less severe – that’s a clever F/slip.

            Gingercrush why don’t you process what you see. There are many people from other countries coming here, while born Kiwis are leaving. That’s a fact and stating it is not racist.

            Something I have noticed is that immigrants tend to be individualistic ambitious people (which makes sense as such people are the ones to make the effort to better their lives) but often they don’t have a sense of social commitment to others outside their family and community. They don’t like contributing to the social welfare system and would like to ignore and condemn the poor as in their own country. The Indian accountant in a press item who supported Labour till he was established then changed to National is perhaps an example of this.

            Immigrants often criticise our commitment to the Treaty as well, wishing to come here for the advantages of the country but trying to divest themselves of the responsibilities of citizens, so they can enjoy the fruits.

          • Armchair Critic

            The second graph might be showing that net migration is at its lowest at about the same time as a change in government.

    • Craig Glen Eden 1.2

      If you read the post you could comment GC , as you admit that you only read the first para its you that looks a bit silly. To label others when you haven’t even read the full text and call MG a racist is a bit over the top to say the least.

  2. spoken 2

    Collateral Murder

    5th April 2010 10:44 EST WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff.

    Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.

  3. It must be hard for you Marty having such a statistic-fetish but not being able to find any stats to prove your point!

  4. The UK has had the same debate except their system is worse. The top tax rate is 50% and on top of this there are also NHS charges and other charges.

    The Guardian’s George Monbiot has a wonderful column about this issue. It starts off as follows:

    “It’s a bitter blow. When the government proposed a windfall tax on bonuses and a 50p top rate of income tax, thousands of bankers and corporate executives promised to leave the country and move to Switzerland. Now we discover that the policy has failed: the number of financiers applying for a Swiss work permit fell by 7% last year. The government must try harder to rid this country of its antisocial elements.

    Executive flight is the corporate world’s only effective form of self-regulation: those who are too selfish to pay what they owe to society send themselves into voluntary exile. It’s an act of self-sacrifice for which we should all be grateful. It’s hard on the Swiss, but there’s a kind of mortal justice here too: if you sustain a crooked system of banking secrecy and tax avoidance, you end up with a country full of crooks and tax avoiders.’

    The article is at http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2010/02/22/bleak-havens/

    Given our top rate is lower than the UK’s market forces would suggest that there should have been a flood of executives to NZ. I can’t recall seeing any such flood. I wonder what it means?

  5. side show bob 5

    Why are people going to Aussie?, It’s pretty simple, Shonkey believes he can deliver a socialist NZ and all will be well. He’s got it wrong, this country is crying out for freedom not more regulation (EFS) or (social justice) short for socialism..This country cries out for freedom not government.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago