22 Feb 2021

Pasifika unemployment in NZ rising, report shows

9:03 am on 22 February 2021

The Salvation Army's annual report on social trends shows unemployment rate for Pasifika in New Zealand increased last year due to the pandemic.

The State of the Nation report shows Pasifika unemployment at 8.1 percent, up from 7.4 percent the previous year and nearly twice that of Pakeha at 4.3 percent.

Salvation Army lawyer and policy analyst Ronji Tanielu said the job losses that came with Covid-19 restrictions impacted a lot of Pasifika people.

"If you think about where Pasifika people are located in our industries, we're generally making up hospitality, manufacturing, even some tourism and those were some of the areas that were directly affected by the job losses because of Covid."

The report also shows a high number of Pasifika are on the social housing register in New Zealand.

Magnifying glass over Jobs section of newspaper classifieds

Photo: 123rf

In general, there are soaring numbers in social housing - the number peaked at 22,400 in November last year.

Pasifika make up 10 percent of that number and that has increased over the past decade.

Tanielu said that number was very high in terms of the proportion of the population.

"It has steadily increased especially in the areas where Pasifika communities are centred, so south and west Auckland, local board areas, parts of Wellington and Christchurch, so it has been steadily increasing."

Other key findings include increases in Pasifika people drinking hazardously, and Māori and Pasifika child poverty rates more than 50 percent higher than those for European children.