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A Hand Up For Pacific Island Students Needed

A Hand Up For Pacific Island Students Needed

New Zealand First wants the Government to respond to the stark, unpalatable fact that Pacific people are over-represented in unemployment and low-skilled, low-paid jobs.

Spokesperson for Pacific Affairs Asenati Lole-Taylor is responding to the Salvation Army report released today listing the challenges and achievements of Pacific people in New Zealand titled: More Than Churches, Rugby and Festivals.

"Pacific people make up the majority in low socio-economic areas and are most vulnerable to the current cost of living in New Zealand.

"The report highlights a huge income gap where there has been an average income increase of just $2 in five years for Pacific adults, compared with $54 for everyone else.

"Pacific people also have the highest unemployment rate of more than 15 per cent."

Mrs Lole-Taylor acknowledged that the Budget announced $43 million into trade training schemes for Pacific people but pointed out they also needed other areas of educational encouragement.

"The number attending university is on par with the national population. These students should not be neglected and like all New Zealanders, they should be given every chance of a career when they finish university study.

ENDS

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