Employment rates among Māori are the highest they've ever been, according to new statistics from Stats NZ.
Overall, 94,000 more New Zealanders were in employment in the June 2018 quarter compared to June 2017.
Minister for Employment Willie Jackson says the gap between employment among Māori and the general population is closing.
"In fact, all data for Māori is positive, with Māori unemployment and the number of Māori NEETs ['Not in Education, Employment, or Training'] falling in the June quarter.”
The rate of young people not in employment has also dropped.
"Our rate of young people aged 15-24 not in employment, education or training fell from 12.4 percent to 10.9 percent in the June quarter,” says Jackson.
He Poutama Rangatahi
It comes following initiatives by He Poutama Rangatahi, aimed at getting more rangatahi into employment.
In the past six months over $13mil has been delivered under the programme and yesterday a further $375,000 was announced to support pilot initiative LIFT under the He Poutama Rangatahi Hikina programme in Hawke’s Bay.
People aged 15 to 24 who are not in education, employment or training make up 16.5 percent of the population in Hawke's Bay, the second highest in the country after Gisborne.
"By supporting our youth on the pathway to employment we are helping them to grow their resilience, improve their wellbeing and relationships with others. We expect to see reductions in drug use, abuse and crime when our rangatahi are engaged in holistic programmes like these,” says Jackson.
Despite the positive figures, he says more work is to be done as the coalition government work towards an unemployment rate of four percent by the end of their term.