New Zealand suffers expat brain-drain

New Zealanders take off

A recent report has discovered that New Zealand has the worst record of all developed nations when it comes to retaining the services of its skilled worker citizens, with around a quarter in total plying their trades in other nations.

According to the study, conducted by the World Bank, New Zealand’s brain-drain is 10 times greater than that of Australia. Brain-drain can have a significant effect on a country, it is estimated that for every skilled worker that leaves New Zealand the country loses around $10,000 dollars via tax revenue for healthcare and education costs.

The lure of foreign wages is obviously too strong for the nation’s most employable people, figures show that highly-skilled New Zealanders earn an average wage of around $116,000 when they venture abroad, nearly double the Kiwi average high-skilled wage of $65,000.

The New Zealand government has made efforts to quell this exodus by revealing a plan to introduce personal tax cuts.

However, not all Kiwis see the brain-drain as a huge problem, a spokesman for the New Zealand Society said: “It's a bit of a mixed message really. While a high proportion of people leave, a high proportion also return to settle. Also it's often the case that many, while living outside New Zealand, return to visit and boost the economy through tourism.”