53,000 moved to Australia last year
Statistics New Zealand report over 53,000 people left New Zealand permanently or long term for Australia, in the 12 months to May.
The council of trade unions says action is needed to stem the outflow of workers to Australia.
Secretary, Peter Conway, says the figures are a stark reminder to employers and the Government that we need to create more decent jobs here.
He says action needed includes a lift in the minimum wage, a rise in wages through improvements to collective bargaining, and renewed efforts to lift productivity.