An article in the DomPost business section today, by Rob McLeod, reminds us that when general unemployment was over eight percent there was much hand-wringing. Yet Maori unemployment is still that high despite having dropped considerably.
Which prompted me to check how high their overall benefit dependency rate is.
I am relying here on estimates from 2005 (roll on the Census releases). In the 18-64 age group there are around 347,000 Maori (a slight over-estimation due to relying on five-year age bands balances a slight under-estimation due to being a year old).
At the moment 86,893 18-64 year-old Maori are on a benefit or 25 percent. The Pacific rate is about half that and the non-Maori or Pacific rate around 8 percent.
I suppose we should adopt the glass half full approach and celebrate 3 in 4 Maori not being on a benefit!