5 Jul 2016

Pacific women found to struggle in NZ labour market

6:53 am on 5 July 2016

The New Zealand Human Rights Commission says a lack of support is compounding the rate of young Pacific women who are not in education, employment or training.

Data added to the Commission's online tool which tracks equality at work shows nearly a third (31.4 percent) of Pacific women under the age of 25 in New Zealand are unemployed.

Equal Opportunities Commissioner Jackie Blue

Equal Opportunities Commissioner Jackie Blue Photo: SUPPLIED

The Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, Jackie Blue, said people aged 16 and 17 who apply for a benefit are given help, such as mentoring, to assist them to find work or training.

But Dr Blue said those over 18 were not offered the same support.

"Once a person hits 18 they qualify for the unemployment benefit and they no longer qualify for those wrap-around services," said Dr Blue. "So one of our recommendations is that the government looks at extending the criteria and the age group they can apply."

She said women have always been marginalised in the labour market with Pacific women particularly disadvantaged.