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Pacific Peoples Making Economic Progress

17 June 2002

An improvement in the economic status of Pacific peoples is one of the key findings in the first major report based on the 2001 Census presented to government at Parliament today.

“This report provides government with an important statistical picture of the position of Pacific peoples in comparison to other New Zealanders,” said the Acting Pacific Island Affairs Minister Matt Robson.

“The report is encouraging because although social and economic inequalities clearly remain, progress is being made.”

Key findings include:

- Increasing proportions of Pacific peoples are working in service industries and the majority of Pacific workers are now in these industries, rather than secondary industries where they have dominated in the past.

- Pacific peoples are more likely to run their own businesses than in the past: self-employed Pacific peoples has doubled from 2.2 percent to 4.4 percent.

- Pacific peoples holding university degrees has increased from 1.4 percent to 3.9 percent compared to 11.8 percent for all New Zealand adults.

- Pacific early childhood education participation rates have risen to 33 percent in 2001, up by seven percent from 26 percent in 1991. (The national participation rate is 63 percent).

Ministry Chief Executive Fuimaono Les McCarthy said the report reinforced the need for the government’s targeted Pacific Capacity Building initiatives.

“It will help all Government agencies as they develop policies, programmes and services to address the social and economic inequalities facing Pacific peoples.”

Government Statistician Brian Pink said the report provides data and information that is key to understanding the position of Pacific peoples in New Zealand.
Ends


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