Additional Budget support for Pacific peoples
Budget 2016 will allocate $6.4 million of new operating funding over four years for Pacific peoples initiatives, Pacific Peoples Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says.
Funding for Vote Pacific Peoples is at its highest level with $9.9 million allocated in 2016/17, up 25 per cent since 2008/09.
The largest funding increase, $4.6 million over four years, is being allocated to Pacific Employment Support Services (PESS) to help young Pacific people in Auckland find and keep a job or find education or training opportunities.
“17 per cent of Pacific youth in Auckland are classified as NEET – Not involved in Employment, Education or Training. That is 6,900 young Pacific people in Auckland, aged between 15 and 24, who are not working, studying or training.”
“More than 1,400 young Pacific people have benefitted from the service since it started and over the next two years nearly a thousand more will receive help.”
Budget 2016 also provides $250,000 new money to investigate options for helping Pacific families or groups who want to live and work outside Auckland.
Over four years, $1.2 million will be included for the Toloa Scholarships which encourage Pacific students to study science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) subjects at school or tertiary level.
“New Zealand’s Pacific population is one of the fastest-growing in the country. These young people have to be given every opportunity to become the industry leaders and problem-solvers of the future,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.
Additional funding includes $64,000 of new operating funding over four years and $200,000 of new capital funding to the Ministry for Pacific Peoples for an IT upgrade and property moves.