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Māori Unemployment Rate Increases By More Than Four-Times National Rates

The unemployment rates for Māori have increased by more than 4 times the national rate. In figures released yesterday from Statistics New Zealand, unemployment rates for Māori hit a four-year high of 8.2%, up by 1.4%. Similarly, rates for Pacific peoples have surged by 1.5% to reach 7.4%.

In comparison, the national unemployment rate has risen by 0.3%, reaching 4.3% in the quarter ending March 2024.

“These figures are an absolute embarrassment for this government with increasing unemployment under their watch,” said Employment spokesperson, Takutai Tarsh Kemp.

“It is not new that when unemployment rates increase, Māori and our Pasifika cousins suffer more aggressively. It is a continuation of a widening gap between Māori, Pacific peoples, and the rest of New Zealand.

“These rates will commit Māori to benefits that they’ve cut and have committed to sanctioning beneficiaries. The government's message is simply ‘too bad if you’re poor, Māori, and Pasifika.’

“This drives us further away from Mana Motuhake, this government is taking us backwards” said Kemp.

“Unfortunately, this is economic theory in play and a ratchet attempt to curb inflation at the expense of the livelihoods of the people,” said co-leader and Finance spokesperson, Rawiri Waititi.

“They say tax cuts are on the way. The reality is, these whānau are going to suffer again because they aren’t employed and earning.

“These government policies lacking in radical action are inexcusable. The government needs to immediately reform our tax system in Aotearoa and redistribute wealth to address poverty and help middle Aotearoa.

“Te Pāti Māori will introduce a raft of new taxes on wealth and end tax evasion to ensure that the 2 million New Zealanders earning less than $30,000 would not pay a cent in tax, and that 98% of all income earners have more take-home pay,” said the Te Pāti Māori co-leader.

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