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National: Pacific Pay Gap in Aotearoa at least partly due to racism, research finds

3:15 pm, on 19 July, 2022

By Jessica Hopkins 

The majority of the Pacific Pay Gap cannot be explained and is at least partly due to racism or unconscious bias by employers, a new Pacific Pay Gap Inquiry has found.

For 73 percent of Pasifika men and 61 percent of Pasifika women, the pay gap could not be explained even after accounting for differences in job-related characteristics, education levels, number of household dependents, and regions where people lived.

Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo, says that the research exposes inferior pay rates for Pacific people in Aotearoa, confirming years of complaints about inequity. 

“It’s unacceptable that Pacific, Māori and ethnic minority workers continue to be penalised and undervalued in the workplace based on unfair workplace practices, unconscious bias and racial discrimination. Children, families, and entire communities are suffering. This is a breach of basic rights to equality and dignity, and it must end with us,” says Sumeo.

Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ on Air.