Robust engagement was at the fore when Pacific business and community leaders met with the team from Treasury NZ in Auckland.
Supported by the Pacific Business Trust (PBT) and hosted by the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) Business School in Manukau, the meeting was held to discuss potential opportunities and pathways for Pacific people to achieve equitable and sustainable living standards in the next five to 20 years.
Headed by Gabriel Makhlouf – Secretary and Chief Executive for Treasury – the meeting revealed a number of statistics which showed Pacific people firmly at the bottom of key socio-economic ladders.
Among the number of concerning issues raised by those who attended included the high cost of tertiary education with limited career prospects due to the lack of formal and informal business networks they could tap into.
Low home ownership rates were another key discussion point, with many pointing out the fact that many Pacific families are struggling to financially survive in rented accommodation due to the rising demand.
There was also strong support for strengthening and raising the minimum wage, although this was encountered by a Treasury official who stated evidence that it could cost jobs.
Treasury NZ is the Government’s leading advisor on economic, financial and regulatory policy. It provides strategic policy advice on the New Zealand economy and produces a range of publications and economic data. It also monitors and manages the financial affairs of the Government, assesses public sector proposals which have economic and financial implications; and delivers operational services.