“39,378 Kiwis decided to vote with their feet and leave New Zealand in the year to July 2023. The next Government will need to completely turn the country around to stop the exodus,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“This is the equivalent of everyone in Gisborne deciding they’re sick of the rising cost of living, out of control lawlessness, and constant division by race and leaving in one year, it is an increase of 23,800 departures from 2022.

“There needs to be a road back to prosperity for New Zealanders, at the moment they can’t see a future where they can buy a house and support their family. ACT wants to change all that.

“To arrest decades of decline and deliver real change, ACT says we must put productivity at the centre of everything government does.

“Labour is still just announcing new spending initiatives every week in desperate attempts to bribe voters. Kiwis can see through this, as New Zealand’s economy shrinks everyone receives a smaller slice. It has created a spiral where people take their skills elsewhere, reducing the pool of talent for meeting our obligations and providing opportunity. It means higher taxes for those who remain, and so it goes on.

“Any Government ACT is part of will publicly state its objective for New Zealand to be in the top 10 fastest growing economies in the OECD, as measured by real GDP per capita growth. To achieve this target in 2019, we would have had to achieve 2.4% growth, compared to the 0.7% we actually achieved.

“An explicit objective for economic growth will focus the minds of the public service, allow Ministers to shoot down anti-growth policies, and ensure voters can hold the Government accountable for its performance. In Singapore, such targets have long been publicly announced and are used by the Government to measure its own performance.

“Higher productivity growth - producing more valuable stuff - is the main driver of higher wages. The only way New Zealanders can afford better healthcare, housing, education - anything, really - is if workers first produce more valuable goods and services to sell to the world. Poor productivity is bad for us all. It means lower wages for workers, lower profits for businesses, and higher taxes to afford the same public services.

“We need real change to turn the decline around and make our country the preferred destination for ideas, talent and investment. ACT is proposing a brighter future.”

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