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Concerns as Pacific Ministry gets makeover

Concerns as Pacific Ministry gets makeover

Labour is warning the Government to treat the Pacific communities of New Zealand with respect and be transparent about its restructure of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, which will see some staff lose their jobs.

“Pacific communities in New Zealand and Pacific peoples are very protective of ‘their’ ministry,” Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.

“With Pacific unemployment still sitting at 13 per cent, more than double the national rate, staff facing job cuts will obviously be concerned.

“Pacific Affairs Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga needs to reassure the community that all those involved in the restructuring process will be given the opportunity to provide genuine input.

“After six years in government, and three different ministers, it is clear National still has no idea what it expects the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs to do, aside from doing more for less and less.

“While a significant proportion of Pacific peoples are facing unemployment, low incomes, and unaffordable housing situations, their ministry is embroiled in a painful restructuring process, instead of focussing on improving the quality of life for Pacific people.

“Pacific communities want to see their ministry engaging with them regularly, not for the promotion of government propaganda, but advocating for better jobs, higher incomes, more educational opportunities, affordable homes, and healthier communities.

“The Government needs to give the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs the support it needs to engage with communities, while at the same time ensuring its staff have strong cultural competence and the resources they require to truly advocate for Pacific communities.”


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