All the more room for us. If they don't want it, we know some people who do.

Off to Oz: 600 Kiwis leave a week
By DAN EATON - The Press | Friday, 25 May 2007

More New Zealanders are leaving the country – mostly to Australia – and fewer are returning, according to a new Government report.

The Department of Labour's report on permanent and long-term migration issued yesterday showed the number moving to Australia has reached 615 a week, compared to 578 on average last year.

It said the trend over the last four months had resulted in the first drop in migration inflows since October 2005.

The National Party seized on the data in Parliament in debate over budget legislation, saying last week's Budget, which did not deliver income tax cuts, would see more people "vote with their feet".

"It's a city the size of Gisborne being wiped off the New Zealand map in the space of one year," National spokesman for foreign affairs Murray McCully said.

The number of New Zealanders heading for Australia rose to 32,200 in the year to March, from 30,100 a year earlier.

Immigration Minister David Cunliffe said there was no cause for real concern and Kiwis were being replaced with immigrants from other countries. "As with all such statistics they bounce up and down," he said.

"It is pleasing that there is still a positive net inflow of migrants and that New Zealand continues to make gains on the global brain exchange, where we compete with many other countries.

"I don't remember Sir Robert Muldoon for much, but I do recall he had an amusing line about Kiwis who move across the Tasman."

Muldoon said Kiwis migrating to Australia raised the average IQ in both countries.

The Labour Department report showed net migration inflows fell to 12,100 in the year to March, a drop of 2700 from a peak in December. Before that migration had been rising.

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