Show me the money and provide me with an environment to make it in is the response from Kiwi expatriates to John Key’s plea to come home and help dig New Zealand out of the recession.
The Prime Minister wants to plug the brain drain, especially to Australia, but it won’t be easy.
It’s estimated that up to 800,000 Kiwis live overseas.
“The pool of talent outside of New Zealand is huge. The stats say that 24% of skilled educated New Zealanders live and work overseas,” says Ivan Moss, Kea Global Network.
And Key wants them home.
“The biggest issue holding the economy back for quite some time has been a skills shortage,” says Key.
Nigel Swinn runs a successful design company in Sydney. He’s a Kiwi through and through, but says it’ll take more than a note from the Prime Minister to entice him home.
“The real issue is not what Kiwi expats can do for NZ, do for their country, but what the country is doing or in fact not doing for them to encourage them to come back to enable them to do what they are doing overseas, in Sydney etc,” says Swinn.
Key says expats could help their homeland out of the recession.
“We have got the capacity to take New Zealand out of this recession and onto a growth path that provides real opportunities,” says Key.
Carrie Follas likes being a lawyer but just loves living in Sydney.
“It’s not just about working in New Zealand, there’s a whole lot of things in the mix of it and he’s got to remember that,” says Follas.
“Sydney give’s us the best of New Zealand and the best of the rest of the world.”
She says New Zealand’s economic framework needs a major overhaul before she packs her bags.
“You need to have much more invigorated environment, probably a more flowing investment regime that allows people to want to come back and want to be stimulated by the work that is going on there,” says Follas.
And then there is the argument just to leave the kiwis who have flown the coup be.
“They’re our ambassadors in the world, they’re New Zealand’s reputation on the streets of the cities of the world,” says Moss.