24 Oct 2013

Wage bill down and travel costs up at Te Puni Kokiri

10:38 am on 24 October 2013

Te Puni Kokiri's staff wage bill has dropped, reducing from $29 million to $27 million.

However, the department's spending on contract workers and consultants is up, increasing from $5.911 million to $6.350 million.

The details are among a number of facts and figures outlined in the latest annual report from the Ministry of Maori Development, which covers operations for the year to the end of June.

The report also shows domestic, Pacific and international travel costs are up, going from just over $2.006 million to $2.422 million.

Elsewhere, Te Puni Kokiri continues to point out that levels of Maori language proficiency, home ownership and household income are still poor.

However, that could change when Maori census details are released by Statistics New Zealand in the coming months.

On efforts to help insulate homes, the ministry has managed to talk to 800 households to explain what subsidies are available, below its own target of 1000.

But it is in the business sector that Te Puni Kokiri is reporting big gains. Its Maori Business Facilitation Service has helped 79 new Maori-owned enterprises get off the ground over the past year.

Overall, the service worked with 611 people, small and medium operations and post-settlement organisations to build their skills and management capability.

Officials say they have witnessed the transformation of some businesses, including those that started as a home-based operation.