02 November 2006

New Zealand business says retaining overseas staff a key concern

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New Zealand business leaders have identified the problem of attracting and retaining overseas talent as one of their key concerns.

The New Zealand Herald reports how 100 senior executives from Australia and New Zealand's most prominent companies raised the issue during the first ever Budget Summit held at Parliament yesterday.

The summit gave them the opportunity to discuss long term policies they believe should be considered for next year's budget, and they identified several taxation regulations that deter foreign workers from moving to New Zealand.

They included tax liability on relocation expenses and investments held overseas.

"They tilt the playing field against us and, given the lower salaries paid here, it would be useful to remove them," Deloitte chairman Nick Main told the paper.

New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) chief executive Peter Neilson said there was support amongst business leaders for New Zealand to introduce compulsory superannuation (as happens in Australia), and also discussed were plans to attract high net worth individuals from overseas.

Government research released earlier this year revealed that 1 in 5 migrants leave the country within 6 years.

The summit's main findings will be incorporated into the council's formal submission to Finance Minister Michael Cullen in November.

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