All New Zealanders will be bitterly disappointed that the Pacific youth unemployment rate (aged 15 to 24 years) is now 26.7 per cent, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.
“Our young people are the future workforce of New Zealand and we will come to depend upon them more in years to come - to work, pay taxes and generate economic activity for us all. Are we to accept that they are confined to a life of unemployment, unskilled, miserable and destitute during their adult life, as has been the case throughout the last six years?
“Our Pacific people will also be angry that overall Pacific unemployment situation is still twice the national rate at 11.7 per cent.
“The news of increased Pacific unemployment is distressing given they want for jobs and high wages and to own their own homes in the same way as other working New Zealanders aspire to a better life. Without jobs those hopes become impossible to achieve.
“To make matters worse, TVNZ will make about 40 Pacific broadcasters redundant as they outsource Pasifika programmes, and the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs have themselves made staff redundant as mandated by National.
“The recent passage of the Employment Relations Amendment Act will undermine worker’s rights in the workplace and will further do harm to a workforce that is already burdened with child poverty, homelessness, unaffordable housing and declining income levels, says Su’a William Sio.
“When will Pacific people receive the economic gains of the rock star economy this government continues to crow about.”