24 Aug 2007

New Zealand launches development plan for local Pacific people

12:57 pm on 24 August 2007

The New Zealand Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs has launched its Pacific Economic Development strategy.

New Zealand's Pacific population, which numbers nearly 300,000, is projected to make up 13 percent of the labour force by 2051 but is over-represented in low paid work.

The chief executive of the Ministry, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, says Pacific women need particular attention because their wages are markedly lower than the average wage.

Dr Tukuitonga also says hard working Pacific islanders can be held back through having to manage complex cultural obligations.

"Community expection, family expectations, all of that sort of thing will have a bearing on whether or not people will participate. We have got to get people thinking, we can't give all the resources to community activities and church building, maybe we can use some of that energy and talent and resource to creating business and enterprise for oneself or his or her family."

Dr Colin Tukuitonga from the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs.