Maori unemployment is up 55% to 12.6%
Hey, lets call it 13%. Pasifica peoples are around the same figure but overall employment is 6%
So maori unemployment is twice that of most others. Shouldn't that be a source of great shame for this country, that the indigenous people have twice the percentage of people with no jobs, than non-maori.
And one of the big problems is that the numbers will continue to rise and be disproportionate to non-maori. When will something be done - at 25% at 30%, what about 50% of eligible Maori workforce without jobs - when will the seriousness of this situation cut through the politics.
How will Maori cope when every 3rd or 4th person is unemployed?
That is the area where thought is needed. The hui are okay but the hui are just hui - they actually don't do anything, they don't put kai on the table or pay the bills. And at the hui are people on $250,000 - and that means they are removed from the difficulties that someone on $25,000 is on. Can a person earning 10 times what another person does, actually understand and have empathy?
What are all of these unemployed Maori going to do? What are they doing now?
A solution - Te Reo and maoritanga training subsidised at an equivalant rate to the dole.
This could be a massive opportunity to support and strengthen maori culture. We could seriously train and upskill our people in our culture and use that upskilling and knowledge to drive the commercial imperatives.
Heres an example of how we could do it.
"The Navajo Nation Council, responding to ongoing requests from a coalition of tribal members and other supporters, voted to create a Green Economy Commission designed to stimulate both traditional and modern forms of economic activity.
The Commission's focus will be not only to create jobs in this depressed region, where the unemployment rate is 44 percent, but to do so in sustainable, culturally appropriate ways. Current proposals include wool mills and weavers' co-ops, as well as traditional agriculture, green construction, home weatherization, renewable energy, and other projects to promote energy and water efficiency. It will also apply for federal money earmarked for green jobs and economic stimulus.
"A green economy is not a new concept to Navajo," said Tony Skrelunas, a member of the coalition that proposed the bill. "There are many green business opportunities that fit perfectly with our culture. We must once again hearken to such processes to truly build our own economy that puts high value on our tradition - old and modern economic pursuits. In this way, we will build a vibrant economy for the future generations while honoring our great ancestors."
It's not enough to just have jobs we need culture and protection of our environment too. And they can be worked on together.