20 May 2013

Salvation Army says Pacific people in NZ worst hit by financial crisis

10:18 am on 20 May 2013

The Salvation Army says Pacific people in New Zealand have been more severely hit than anyone else by the global recession.

A new report says they now have the highest unemployment rate and the lowest average income of 479 dollars a week.

That compares with 721 dollars for non-Pacific adults.

One of the report's authors, Ronji Tanielu, says the income for Pacific people has gone up just two dollars in five years, compared with 54 dollars for everyone else.

"It's a shocking rate of increase to be honest. We've got a huge income gap but we've also got a very painfully slow income growth for Pacific people. It affects everything else in terms of debt, housing issues, financing day to day life and so on."

Ronji Tanielu says that's led to a huge increase in demand for the Salvation Army's foodbanks, budgeting advisers, and drug and alcohol services.