26 May 2014

Pasifika people missing out - report

9:01 am on 26 May 2014

A report on the state of Pasifika people says they are being left behind in New Zealand's economic recovery.

The Salvation Army's annual state-of-the-nation report on Pasifika people, says low incomes for Pasifika, high unemployment and their "mammoth" housing problems should all be major election issues this year.

One of the report's authors, Alan Johnson, said Pasifika had not shared in the country's economic progress of the past 18 months.

"For example income figures haven't really come around, employment fortunes haven't changed much and it's clear that Pacific people in particular are being marginalised by the recovery."

Unemployment was virtually unchanged at 13 percent, twice the national rate, he said.

Another of the authors, Ronji Tanielu, said more and more Pasifika families are barely surviving, especially in Auckland, and some are sleeping in cars because they cannot afford rent.

Mr Tanielu told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme fewer than one in five Pasifika families own their own home, and since most live in Auckland they are basically excluded from the property market there.

He said the Salvation Army was experiencing high demand for financial and budgeting help, and for legal services to deal with loan sharks and repossessions.