Statistics New Zealand figures reveal a shocking situation with inequality worsening for Pacific people under this National-led government, says Su’a William Sio Labour’s spokesperson for Pacific Affairs.
“The National government has failed at every key measure of social and economic well-being to lift the development and prosperity of Pacific people since they’ve been in power.
“Since 2009, the real median weekly income for all New Zealanders has fallen by $10 a week to $575, but for Pasifika adults nationwide (after adjusting for inflation) it has dropped by $77 a week to $381. What is frightening about these statistics is that 50% of all Pasifika adults are attempting to scrape a living earning less than $19,812 per annum, and this is during a period of the so called rock star economy.
“It is much worse for Pasifika people living in Auckland where the majority of Pasifika communities reside – Since 2009 their median weekly income dropped by $88 a week to $379 while the overall weekly incomes for Aucklanders is $575 a week.
‘ Can this government look 285,000 hungry children in the eye, the sores on their feet from walking without shoes, and say this is the brighter future they promised?
“Unemployment for Pasifika in New Zealand is at 13%, in Auckland it is at 14.6%, or 11,300 unemployed. Yet there are only 9310 Pacific people receiving a Jobseeker Support benefit as of March 2014. When you combine these statistics with the fact that the Labour Force participation rate for Pasifika is 62.4%, you get the picture that there are Pacific people who are trying to scrape a living, relying on their relatives without any help from the state whatsoever.
“There is no vision from this Government’s Budget on how they intend to eliminate high unemployment because they actually project that unemployment will remain constant at 5% in future years of their budget.
“It’s no wonder that Pacific home ownership is at an all-time low of 18.5% under this government. This is not what Pasifika communities were expecting when National promised everyone a brighter future. Pacific people like all New Zealanders have a right to own their own home, and Labour will keep that dream alive and real.
“Labour stands for full employment and wants to see every person who is able to work to secure a meaningful job opportunity. That’s why we’ll target a 4% unemployment rate by the end of our first term of government.
“We’ll lift wages to a more meaningful amount in our first 100 days, to make sure that workers have money in their pockets to support their families, and give their children the best start in their education.”