Govt not doing enough to get Māori into jobs

Just four people have been supported into jobs by the Government’s $50 million Māori Trades and Training Fund since June 2020, National’s Social Development and Employment spokesperson Louise Upston says.

“Labour isn’t delivering the jobs it promised prior to the election, with its employment ‘action plans’ for Māori, Pasifika, women and Jobseekers still on the drawing board.

"It makes a mockery of Labour’s pre-election claim that they had a plan to support New Zealanders into jobs. The reality is, they’re still figuring out what that plan is through an endless stream of working groups.

“The overrepresentation of Māori on Jobseeker Support makes it especially baffling that a working group will only make recommendations to Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni in July about a Māori Employment Action Plan.

“More than 40 percent of people on Jobseeker Support, who are work-ready, are Māori. The Government’s Māori Employment Action Plan should be a top priority.

“It begs the question: just how serious is the Government about supporting Māori into jobs? Apart from the fact it has had almost four years to get a plan in place, it is disappointing this work has not been fast-tracked given more than 15,000 Māori moved onto Jobseeker Support in the past year alone.

“The delay means more Māori are at greater risk of long-term unemployment. Plans should have been in place to support them during the economic turbulence of the past year.

“Instead of endlessly workshopping plans to get more Kiwis into jobs, the Government needs to actually deliver initiatives that will make a real difference to people doing it tough.”

Answer to Written Parliamentary Questions can be found here.