Migrating Professionals Cost NZ $4.2 Billion

Published: Tue 12 Sep 2000 10:14 AM
Migrating Professionals Cost NZ $4.2 Billion Per Year
Over 10,000 professionally qualified New Zealanders have left New Zealand since the election, said ACT Leader, Hon Richard Prebble.
It cost the taxpayer a massive $4.2 billion to train and educate the migrating professionals.
“This year’s migration amounts to an over $4 billion aid package from New Zealand to the world, particularly Australia.
“The most expensive group to educate is the 698 doctors who have migrated. A doctor costs $177,499 to educate. 447 engineers whose education cost $119,000 each have also migrated.
“A massive 953 scientists whose education cost the taxpayer an average $92,000 have left since the coalition were elected. This huge loss to New Zealand’s scientific community reflects the true cost of the Government’s moratorium on GE research.
“The New Zealand economy has lost earnings of $1.3billion per year from the professionals departure. The loss to the taxpayer in income tax and GST forgone is conservatively half a billion dollars per year.
“Between 1993 and 1996 New Zealand’s net gain in professionals reached a peak of 6,939 in 1996. Winston Peters appointment as Treasurer saw net migration plummet to 403 in 1998.
“The election of the coalition in November last year has accelerated the trend, with a net loss of professionals (New Zealanders leaving offset by immigration) at –3318 since the election. The year 2000 is on track to be the worst year in New Zealand’s history for skill loss.
“It appears that when the coalition said it wanted to build a knowledge economy, it was Australia’s economy they were talking about.
“The latest figures show that the loss of professionals is accelerating, indicating that the coalition’s policies are making the situation worse.
“These migration figures are just another signal to the minority Labour/Alliance government of the need to change direction,” said Hon Richard Prebble.
For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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