“The terrible inequalities hidden in the so-called good news of the drop in young people not in employment, education or training is shocking”, says Trevor McGlinchey, Executive Officer of the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS). “The 18th Vulnerability Report shows more than a quarter of young Māori and almost as many young Pasifika women are trapped in unemployment and are unable to access appropriate educational and training opportunities. This is storing up ongoing, intergenerational inequality and poverty for future generations of New Zealanders”.
The Report shows the rate of young Māori women Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) is staggeringly high at 27.6% and young Pasifika women are not faring any better at 26.4%. So while the overall rate has dropped slightly, for some this only masks their ongoing plight and further increases the inequalities and decreased life-chances they experience.
“NZCCSS members are beginning to see a greater number of young people appearing at their centres seeking support”, says McGlinchey. “This indicates there is likely to be more young people who are not receiving the support they need from the social welfare system. These young people may be relying on their parents’ and friends’ already stretched resources, or just going without. They should have access to good quality education, training and jobs – or if this is not available a liveable benefit”.
“In 1993 Church Leaders published a plea for greater social justice and a fairer New Zealand. Twenty-one years later we have greatly grown New Zealand’s ‘economic pie’. However it is those with the most who have increased their share of the country’s earnings while support for those with the greatest needs has become harder to access and those with the least have made no progress” said McGlinchey. “This is not the New Zealand we should aspire to. New Zealand has enough for everyone, we just need to share it better. We must work together for a country where we all get a fair go and a fair share.”
The Vulnerability Report 18 is available