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Maori Industry and Training Summit

Press Release

Maori Industry and Training Summit sets ambitious targets for workforce development

More than 160 representatives from Industry, Maoridom and Education met in Mangere last week to address the most significant challenge to New Zealand’s economic prosperity. The Maori, Industry and Training Summit debated a Maori workforce scorecard that set key objectives for 2007 and 2010. The summit achieved a commitment from industry, education providers and Maoridom to work together to address Maori under-participation in employment and key areas of training.

The government has made significant progress in addressing workplace-training needs, particularly in Industry Training and the Modern Apprenticeships program. The school experience and transition from school to employment and further training, literacy and numeracy and under-representation in decision-making are crucial areas identified at the summit. Our challenge is to ensure all New Zealanders including Maori have the opportunity to contribute by engaging in lifelong learning and developing the skills and innovation necessary for the workplace of the future.

The Summit highlighted the following as key issues needing urgent attention:

More than a third of Maori school leavers in 2002 left school with no qualification More than 123,000 Maori in the workforce today have no recognised qualification More than 60% of Maori in employment do not meet the minimum world literacy standard Maori are under-represented in key industry area’s Less than 2% of the nations senior managers are Maori

Many of us understand that Maori currently make up 15% of New Zealand population. Fewer people understand that 25% of New Zealanders under 14 years of age are Maori, and that almost a quarter of the work age population of New Zealand in 2021 will be Maori. If we maintained the same levels of Maori workforce skill and qualification for the next 20 years, the impact on New Zealand’s prosperity will be significant

The Mangere campus of Te Wananga o Aotearoa hosted the Summit. Chief Executive Officer Dr Rongo Wetere said that a huge effort is required to turn the negative statistics around and that he was pleased Summit participants were committed to make that happen. Keynote presenters included Shane Jones, Chairperson of Te Ohu Kaimoana, Dr James Buwalda from the Department of Labour, Jeremy Baker from Business New Zealand and Paul Trass from Carter Holt Harvey.

A copy of the summit scorecard is being circulated to the wider New Zealand business and education community and can be viewed at or


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