The chairman of one of the country's largest iwi says the issue of high Maori unemployment won't be solved overnight.
The latest Ministry of Social Development figures show just over 16% of those without a job are Maori.
In Northland and the Gisborne-Hawke's Bay regions, which have the highest rates of unemployment, more than 60% of jobless are Maori.
Ngahiwi Tomoana from the Hastings based Ngati Kahungunu says to get Maori off the benefit, employment schemes need to be more targeted.
He says the aim should be to give people skills to provide long term employment.