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A new Treasury report has outlined just how much the Pasifika community is contributing to New Zealand's economy.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson has today released findings that show Pacific individuals and businesses contribute up to $8 billion to the country's annual Gross Domestic Product, using income measure.
Assets from about 1500 Pacific business employers and almost 500 not-for-profit organisations totalled up to $8.3b and, from those assets, the total value added was thought to be $3.1b annually.
"The [NZ Pacific Economy] report reveals Pacific peoples are contributing significantly to the economy despite some of the poor health, housing, education and employment outcomes experienced by many in their communities," Robertson said.
The findings have been revealed at today's Pacific Aotearoa Summit, in Auckland.
The conference is being hosted by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples and Pasifika partners to show the state of Pacific Island communities in New Zealand and what its people would like to see for themselves in the future.
About 350 community leaders are expected at the event at Eden Park today.
Other key findings in the Treasury's report include that the annual Pacific household income is estimated to be $12b from 101,000 households around New Zealand.
The spending of Pasifika households or families contributed to $10.4b to the expenditure of annual GDP; and despite Pasifika workers earning $6.6b in the 2017 financial year, the average income stood at $40,300.
Of the 1500 Pacific-owned businesses around the country, construction and professional services were the prominent business types.
The assets of those businesses - as well as the almost 500 not-for-profit organisations such as charities and churches - came to $640 million, the report showed.
It also revealed Pacific churches hold over $500m in assets and that they and the charities relied on 27,000 volunteer hours, per week, from its communities.
Chairman of the Pacific Business Trust, Fa'amatuainu Tino Pereira, said those particular findings on Pacific businesses supported the idea of the need to invest more into them.
"The report is a first step in understanding the Pacific economy and how it contributes to the wider New Zealand economy," he said.
Another key finding - which needed further research - is the way Pasifika communities shared their wealth.
Cultural protocol or practices such as gift-giving, donating to the church and giving towards fa'alavelave - weddings, funerals etc - were all part and parcel of Pacific make-up in New Zealand.
Remittances were also a huge aspect of life, with many people regularly sending money back to the islands to help loved ones.
Despite the Treasury report looking at the "monetary value" of the Pacific economy here, it also showed many of those surveyed indicated that wealth was more than just about money.
Robertson acknowledged those findings - pointing out that Pasifika peoples defined wealth more broadly to include having wealth of knowledge, culture, faith, education and connectedness to family.
SOURCE: NZ HERALD/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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