• Posted on: 10/05/2024
  • 2 minutes to read

Pasifika communities will feel the brunt of the Government’s drive for public service cuts that will see the Ministry for Pacific Peoples shed 57 roles (37% of its workforce).

The Ministry confirmed to staff yesterday (Thursday May 9) that its workforce will be reduced from 156 roles to 99 roles. Of the 57 roles, 36 are vacant.

The final decisions announced to staff differ slightly from the initial change proposal issued in March with the inclusion of six new roles.

Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi National Secretary Duane Leo said the cuts would have severe consequences for the health and wellbeing of Pasifika families in New Zealand and across the Pacific.

"These are huge cuts which means the Ministry will have fewer resources to properly serve the approximately 400,000 Pasifika people in New Zealand, many of whom have close links across the Pacific.

"This is a growing community that includes people and families who need dedicated government support. Pasifika families are more likely to live in overcrowded, unhealthy housing and to struggle financially than other communities," Leo said.

The Ministry has been active in Pasifika communities supporting housing development, the creation of training and employment opportunities, supporting Pasifika languages, cultures and identities, and developing social enterprises.

"This work is needed now more than ever. Pasifika communities are grappling with the high cost of living and are more at risk than others from the downturn in the employment market," Leo said.

As well as having a significant impact on the community, the decision means 21 people would be losing their jobs.

"Some have chosen voluntary redundancy but others will face the awful realities for them and their families of being out of work. Our hearts go out to them as they navigate what will be a stressful and unsettling time," Leo said.

"Once again, we are seeing the cold, hard reality of the choice this Government has made. Giving $3 billion in tax cuts to landlords is somehow deemed more important than supporting important and at times vulnerable communities," Leo said.