Inequality depriving Māori and the economy of $2.6b every year

May 2, 2018

Inequalities in education, employment and income for Māori are costing the New Zealand economy $2.6 billion a year - and, if the issue isn't fixed it will increase every year to reach $4.3 billion by 2040. Change Agenda: Income Equity for Māori is a joint report from Business and Economic Research Ltd (BERL), Ngāi Tahu iwi and the Māori Futures Collective. The report released on Thursday is described by the authors as a call to action. It puts a dollar value on inequality and how it creates an economic loss for Māori, but it also puts a figure on the economic benefits of Māori success to the nation. "The current inequalities for Māori create significant social and economic harms for our communities and whānau," says Dr Eruera Tarena from the Māori Futures Collective. "If we choose to allow those inequalities to grow then social and economic harm will be felt by everybody because it will get to a scale where everyone will feel that pain." $2.6 billion is the potential income Māori could be taking home every year if they earned the average New Zealand income. But at every age level, Māori receive a much lower income.It equates to taking home $140 less per week, per person for the current working Māori population. Māori workers aged between 40 and 59 are taking home $200 less a week. A report, co-written by Eruera Tarena, paints a bleak picture for the economy in twenty years if Māori inequality isn't addressed.

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