11 Feb 2013

Mining, education and jobs key to keeping Maori in NZ

6:33 am on 11 February 2013

Prime Minister John Key is encouraging Maori to see the benefits in developing the mining industry and trades training opportunities to keep more people in New Zealand.

The national Maori unemployment rate is 15.1%, and many iwi are troubled by the drift of rangatahi to Australia for work.

Mr Key said he too is concerned about the migration of Maori to Australia and is looking at ways the Government can stem the flow.

He said Taranaki Maori, who are familiar with the oil and gas industry, need to talk to iwi on the East Coast about the benefits.

With Petrobras, a Brazilian oil company, pulling out of New Zealand, Mr Key said hundreds of potential jobs have been lost - particularly for Maori who would have been able to reap the economic benefits.

He said educational opportunities and support for Maori to gain better qualifications will lead them to get better paying jobs and in turn, hopefully keep them in New Zealand.