So we’ve all heard of the brain drain right! Let’s look at a few related issues; in particular the skilled Kiwi residing in New Zealand who is by necessity drawn overseas to pay their student loans because they cannot find work here. Perhaps they just want a better standard of living that New Zealand can no longer offer them. Whatever the reasons, you cannot be blind to the exodus from our shores.
It is a fact that the quality of life in places like Australia is far greater than here in Aotearoa. Those who argue against this are delusional! If policy within New Zealand rewarded people who better themselves through education, we would not need to import much of our workforce and subsequent produce. By reward I mean give fair recompense for services rendered, which simply does not occur which is the real inhibitor to getting our economy off life support. NZ is facing a shortage of skilled workers because our wages are low and our purchasing power is far less than Australia and other similar countries.
New Zealands infant mortality and suicide rates are a disgrace! Tertiary entry and graduation rates are falling, our unemployment is growing and National’s only answer is to cut more public sector jobs. Kiwi’s overall decline in purchasing power for 2009 is 1.9% and 3.9% for 2010. Our food costs lots more; Between Q4 2008 to Q4 2010 we had a decline in purchasing power for food of 5.7%. Housing that cost $250.00 per week in 2000 cost $519.62 in 2010. None of these statistics take into account the recent GST rise that disproportionately affects the poor. Such negative trends are set to keep making New Zealand a difficult place to live in and raise a family.
In fact there is raft of financial and social sweeteners that make Australia a good prospect for any young and educated person. The temptations for them to move across the ditch and leave the failing New Zealand behind are great, especially if they want a family. Mothers there are rewarded with a $3000 maternity payment just to mention one of the benefits to living in the lucky country. Don’t get me wrong, I love New Zealand, but I hate what is happening to it because of a few stupid and greedy politicians and their rich business mates.
Now compared to Aussie, what does the National Government offer? Threats for young parents with financial penalties and forced separation from their newborn if they do not find work that does not exist… What a regressive and archaic policy idea of an outdated old elitist regime, that has lost touch with reality.
Considering welfare payments have not kept up with inflation, it is no wonder that our prison population has increased markedly in the time National has been in power, securing New Zealand the third highest imprisonment rate in the developed World. The average annual cost of housing a prisoner is around $90,977 per year or $249.25 per day. That’s more than a law abiding unemployed beneficiary gets each week. Surely the politicians must understand the direct relationship between creating a poor underclass and crime? Still we’re increasing the number of prison beds in the expectation that this trend will continue to grow. It’s utter madness!
Around 50% of prisoners are Maori. To not address legitimate grievances is to allow our precious indigenous people to continue to be effected by colonization. Yet there has been no conclusive plan to help the disproportionate amount of deprived Maori who live well below the poverty line. National has shown no intention to help raise their children out of poverty. Nationals policies have made the problem worse.
If we address the past with understanding and effective restitution, we will move into the future as a united people. If we continue to blame the poor for their circumstances and ignore the facts, we will create a society that nobody wants to live in.