It’s really easy to present misleading statistics. David Farrar shows how it’s done with a post on migration today.
Note how his figures only go back to 2003. Why is that? Well, it just so happens that 2003 was the last low point in the migration cycle. So, if you show just the last five years, you get a nice appearance of net emigration by NZ citizens growing very rapidly. But it’s only due to lack of context. Another trick Farrar uses is to show just the number of people leaving, not adjusting it for population growth by presenting the figures as a % of the population. 40,000 looks like a lot but not when you know it’s 1% of the population. And because the population is growing it’s to be expected that the number of people leaving each year will also grow. But that doesn’t fit the myth National is trying to create. So, they remove context again and rely on their audience’s ignorance. I don’t think that’s a great way to conduct politics. So, in the graph below, I’ve gone back as far as the figures do, to 1979, and adjusted for inflation. We see a cycle of migration, not the unprecedented acceleration Farrar and National want us to see.