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In a press conference this afternoon updating the public on the government's Covid-19 response, Ardern said Australia shouldn't be so quick to send New Zealanders home as they made up a key part of its workforce and it would need them when the epidemic ended.
"If they wish for Australia to be in a position to gear up in the aftermath of the outbreak then they will need a workforce to do that and New Zealand make up that workforce. They on average earn more and pay more taxes than others. They are a key part of the Australian economy and I would have thought they wouldn't want to be so quick to lose them."
Ardern said she had been very taken back by Australia's acting immigration minister Alan Tudge's comments that those who were on temporary visas who were unable to access support or support themselves should consider going home.