Maori and Pasifika underachievement is a major challenge to lifting New Zealand's economic performance, according to a Treasury briefing.
The warning comes in a briefing to Finance Minister Bill English and Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce released yesterday.
The briefing says 70 percent of Pasifika over the age of 15 and 60 percent of Maori have only secondary school qualifications or lack any at all.
A successful economy by 2025 will require increased Maori and Pasifika achievement from preschool through to tertiary education.
The report says a more productive and internationally connected Maori economic sector is identified as critical for overall economic growth.