Press Release – Chamber Of Commerce
The claim on Radio New Zealand today by Māori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia that there is evidence that employers are failing to give Maori and Pacific job seekers opportunities “is irresponsible,” says Auckland Chamber of Commerce CEO Michael Barnett.
“It is irresponsible because all it will achieve is to encourage more unemployed young Maori and Pacific to stay at home and not get out and seek work:”
“Tariana should give us the evidence. The Chamber will check it out,” said Mr Barnett.
The Auckland Chamber experience in South Auckland is that there are employers prepared to take on unqualified young Maori and Pacific job seekers, and there are many young Maori and Pacific job seekers finding employment.
“We are running a ‘training for employment’ scheme that equips young Maori and Pacific job seekers with a CV and positive attitude about finding a proper job,” said Mr Barnett.
Each year, more than 300 young unqualified Maori and Pacific undertake the course, of which more than 60% secure jobs. “That’s a reasonable measure of success in what is a tough employment market for job seekers,” said Mr Barnett.
Press Release – The Maori Party
Tariana Turia Co-leader of the Maori Party has responded to the comments made by Michael Barnett of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.
Mrs Turia said “I have a high regard for Michael Barnett, and was quite surprised by what he said. Only last month I saw a statement released by Mr Barnett in his role as Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust which urged businesses not to judge people on their ethnic origins.”
Mrs Turia said “this statement was based on research produced by Statistics New Zealand that showed one in ten New Zealanders aged over 15 years old had experienced discrimination in the last year either at work or while applying for a job. The overwhelming majority of respondents pointed to skin colour, race, or ethnicity as the primary reason for discrimination.”
“I disagree with Mr Barnett that my comments will put businesses off hiring rangatahi as it is clear for whatever reason they are not hiring our youth at all.”