8 Sep 2008

Campaign to lure Kiwis back from Australia axed

7:03 pm on 8 September 2008

A Government marketing campaign aimed at getting New Zealanders to return from Australia has been axed.

The campaign, which cost $1 million a year, was launched by the Department of Labour in 2006 and ended late last year after after it was found to be ineffective.

Department of Labour spokesperson Debbie Gee says the campaign has been more successful in Britain and the United States, where there is a greater point of difference in terms of lifestyle.

Figures for the year to June show 32,000 New Zealanders left for Australia on a permanent or long-term basis, the highest number in 20 years.

Chief executive of the Northern Employers and Manufacturers Association Alisdair Thompson says the Government's marketing campaign is a band aid approach.

Mr Thompson says the only solution is to improve the New Zealand economy and raise average incomes.