17 Jun 2012

Pacific rally seeks ear of Govt

7:03 am on 17 June 2012

Hundreds of people in Auckland's Pacific island community have rallied to protest against a variety of issues, such as Budget cuts they say directly affect that section of the population.

The large gathering included church leaders, union workers and young families who marched from Albert Park to Aotea Square on Saturday morning.

Marchers in Albert Park on Saturday

Marchers in Albert Park on Saturday Photo: RNZ

One of the organisers, and the chair of Auckland Council's Pacific Advisory Board, Uesifili Unasa, says changes in the Budget that'll force teenagers to pay tax on their after school jobs, will really hurt families who are already struggling.

He says the children's wages supplement the income of their parents who work often work two to three jobs to survive.

Mr Unasa says the community wants its voice heard on a number of issues, such as education, health care and affordable housing.

"We want the Government to hear the voice of Pacific people ... Pacific people all over the country," he says.

Mr Unasa says Pacific people normally don't publicly display their discontent.

But since the Budget made cuts he says directly affect the Pacific Island community, people are becoming more outspoken.