Māori employment: Government unveils action plan to 'remove barriers'

Scheme seeks to help workplaces become more inclusive and discrimination-free

Māori employment: Government unveils action plan to 'remove barriers'

New Zealand has launched its Māori Employment Action Plan in a bid to support more Māori into employment, education, and training while the country recovers from COVID-19. The plan seeks to "remove barriers and create opportunities for Māori to exercise rangatiratanga to create intergenerational well-being through work," according to the government plan.

"It will achieve this by setting out the immediate, medium and long-term actions the government will take and by providing a framework for monitoring the impact of those actions on Māori outcomes in the labour market," it added.

The plan also focuses on helping Māori "thrive in workplaces that have good conditions and are free from discrimination."

It also aims to make workplaces inclusive of Māori, ensure that they recognise and foster the potential of Māori, and see to it that there is Māori leadership and representation in the public sector. Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni said in a statement that the action plan is "another tool" that support's the government's employment strategy.

"Te Whai Mahi underlines our commitment to supporting kaupapa Māori and working kanohi ki te kanohi and in partnership with whānau, hapū, iwi and wider hapori to improve employment outcomes for Māori," she said. "We know that to tackle the big issues facing Māori, get real results, and put an end to the disparity between Māori and non-Māori, we must do more. This requires working with and supporting Māori as employees, employers, and drivers of the Māori and wider economy, and as Te Tiriti partners."

According to Sepuloni, the plan wants to help an aspiring entrepreneur, employees wanting to get into leadership roles, and those who want to be upskilled.

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Meanwhile, Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson said the plan will help give Māori economic resilience to ensure that they recover from the economic impact of COVID-19.

"The Māori labour force is growing five times faster than non-Māori and we must improve employment outcomes for them. This means more Māori skilled employees and employers are equipped and ready for the future of work," Jackson said.

The employment action plan for Māori is just one of the other population-specific initiatives that support the government's Employment strategy.

It builds on the work of the Te Ara Mahi Māori, an independent reference group appointed to advise Ministers on key areas for the Action Plan.

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