This morning on that great bastion of National Party propaganda, Kiwiblog, David Farrar wrote a very unbalanced and quite frankly sloppy article titled “Willie wrong on almost every stat”.
We can’t stand by and allow this nonsense to go by without a response and it needs to be called out for what it is, which is downright lazy racial stereotyping. If you look at the comments section all you will see the thread is all about racial stereotyping and not about the issue – which is providing every New Zealander with the opportunity to work.
We are compelled to respond, if only to get balance on this and get everyone focussed on the important area, which is generating jobs.
The figures I used on The Nation are correct and I stand by them. I used the recent HLFS survey and compared them to the same point in time as last year, and I used the seasonally adjusted figure, which removes the quarter to quarter volatility that occurs with the figures that David has used.
Farrar has compared the unemployment rate for December 2017 which was 4.5% to the September 2017 figure which was 4.6% and then states as fact there was no drop. Actually had he compared it to the same point as 12 months ago when it was 5.3% as I have done he would see there has been a significant difference. This is the danger when you cherry pick the figures you use.
I am the Employment Minister for all New Zealanders and I stated that as fact, and we are doing tremendous work, but you cannot escape the fact, that Māori, Pacific Islanders and Women are all considerably higher than the general population so of course this Government should be focused on reducing that deficit.
In relation to Māori unemployment, we had senior National MP’s Paul Goldsmith say “its too hard” and then Chris Bishop say that the aim of reducing Māori unemployment to the same level of the general population is “like chasing the mythical unicorn”, you can see why our people aren’t doing as well. They should be ashamed of that thinking, but in the meantime I remain steadfastly committed to making that difference.
Willie Jackson is the Minister for Employment