"They're giving up." That's how Labour is describing a speech from Finance Minister Bill English at his party conference, where he said "it is no good crying at the airport or wringing your hands over New Zealanders heading to Australia."
Labour's Finance spokesperson David Parker says the comments are a lot less ambitious than National's promises to stop waving goodbye to loved ones.
"Yesterday the Government set a new record for the number of New Zealanders heading to Australia with 4,361 people departing New Zealand for Australia in June. This is a new record. 53,763 people departed for Australia in the year to June. That's a new record for annual migration to Australia. 158,167 people have left New Zealand for Australia since John Key promised we would stop waving goodbye to our loved ones.
"Some of the people leaving will be the hundreds of workers who have lost their jobs in the last two weeks in export businesses that are struggling to compete with our dollar over-valued.
"National promised to close the wage gap with Australia but now they've given up.
"They have no ideas about how to modernise our economy and create jobs, increase our savings and boost our exports and now the finance minister is giving up," David Parker said.
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