22 Sep 2016

NZ's Pacific youth continue to struggle

8:34 am on 22 September 2016

Poor housing and income inequality could undo a decade's worth of improvements to the livelihood of New Zealand's Pacific youth.

The latest University of Auckland report based on findings from the Youth 2012 national youth, health and well-being survey reveals almost half of Pacific youth live with household deprivation.

Its lead writer Jacinta Fa'alili-Fidow said since the first survey in 2001 there had been lower rates of depressive symptoms, less substance use and decreased experiences of personal violence largely thanks to the hard work of providers.

But she said the goal posts were constantly shifting and families were struggling to meet their children's needs.

"Families who thought they were doing all the right things, who've put their young people through education and by doing that they can go on and buy a house. When they can no longer do some of these things and the goal post has shifted, then it does offset some of the good stuff that's been happening and some of the progress that's been made."

Jacinta Fa'alili-Fidow said society needed to advocate for long-lasting change from the nation's leaders.

State house in Titahi Bay, Wellington.

A state house in Wellington Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson