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Pacific peoples make gains in wellbeing

Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban
Minister of Pacific Island Affairs
Associate Minister of Social Development and Employment

28 August 2008 Media Statement

Pacific peoples make gains in wellbeing

A report released today has found the wellbeing of Pacific peoples has been improving steadily since the mid-1990s, says Pacific Island Affairs Minister and Associate Social Development and Employment Minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban.

"The 2008 Social Report reveals Pacific peoples have made real gains across a variety of areas, in some cases faster than the total New Zealand population. This is incredibly encouraging and shows we are moving in the right direction.

"More of our young people are leaving school with higher qualifications, more Pacific peoples are gaining access to tertiary education, more adults have bachelor degrees or higher qualifications, hourly earnings are increasing, and fewer Pacific people are smoking. These are just a snapshot of the improvements made in the lives of our Pacific peoples.

In participation in early childhood education, employment rates and housing affordability, Pacific outcomes improved faster than the outcomes of the total New Zealand population.

"Overall these are very positive findings, but the government recognises there are other fields that need addressing.

Areas that have not improved for Pacific people include obesity rates, potentially hazardous drinking and participation in physical activity, which is also the case for the New Zealand population as a whole.

The annual Social Report provides an insight into the country’s wellbeing and quality of life. The report supplies information to both inform debate and allow central and regional government to identify issues and areas for further research.

Laban said the report highlighted the importance of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs’ focus on whole of government programmes to address key areas that would make the greatest difference to the lives of Pacific people.

A full copy of the 2008 Social Report is available at www.socialreport.msd.govt.nz


ENDS

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