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Improving The Economic Wellbeing Of Pacific Women

Media release

For immediate release

More Needs To Be Done To Improve Economic Wellbeing Of Pacific Women, According To Report

24 February, 2006

The Pacific Business Trust says a research report showing significant barriers prevent Pacific women fulfilling their economic potential has, for the first time, begun to define one of the key issues facing Pacific communities.

Pacific Business Trust chairperson, Pauline Winter, says the report, commissioned by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and launched in Wellington last night, is extremely important as there has been very little research conducted in this area.

“We strongly believe that encouraging women to invest in themselves for higher value jobs, or business ventures, will benefit families, the community and the wider NZ economy,” says Ms Winter.

“It was clear from the report that Pacific women face a number of barriers to accessing employment opportunities. These barriers include qualifications, experience and skills, motivation and confidence, language and communication problems and understanding the job application and interview process. These issues can also affect their decision to go into business.”

Ms Winter says the Pacific Business Trust can assist with breaking down some of these barriers, particularly for Pacific women wanting to start their own businesses.

“The aim of the Trust is to assist all Pacific people start, develop and sustain successful businesses. It offers business support, such as mentoring, loans, financial management, advice and networking.

“The Trust also runs seminars and workshops to assist business owners with planning their next steps,” she says.

Ms Winter says the challenges identified by the report were also applicable to all women - regardless of ethnicity.

“The three key policy issues that emerged from this report - high quality jobs, childcare and leadership - are relevant to the general female population. This report really forms part of a wider gender issue,” she says.

The report was based on interviews with 230 Pacific women from six centres around the country.

Ends

About the Pacific Business Trust

The Pacific Business Trust was established in 1985 as a charitable trust to increase business ownership and economic participation among Pacific peoples in New Zealand. Today it is a national organisation with two offices in Auckland (Manukau and Waitemata) as well as offices in Wellington and Christchurch.

The Trust assists New Zealanders of Pacific descent to start, develop and sustain successful businesses. It offers business support, such as mentoring, loans, financial management, advice and networking. The Trust also runs seminars and workshops to assist business owners with planning their next steps.

Since 1993, the Trust has organised the biennial Pacific Business Awards. The awards celebrate and recognise the achievements of Pacific Island business entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders.

The Trust is governed by a Board of Directors and employs 17 people in New Zealand. Funding comes from grants through the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs.

For further information, visit: www.pacificbusiness.co.nz


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