The Ministry of Social Development’s Annual Social Report is worth a read. It shows good progress across a range of social indicators, but also that there’s still more to do.
If memory serves me correctly, the importance of an Annual Social Report was a cause championed by Steve Maharey back in 2001 – it’s now part of the legacy he leaves behind, today having announced that he’ll be standing down from Parliament next year. The Social Report brings together statistics from a range of areas and aims to give a better basis for tracking progress and identifying areas where further effort must be directed.
The report tells a lot of stories.
I think one of the most significant might be this: Maori unemployment has dropped from 17% to 8% since 1999 – it’s halved in the last eight years. Thousands of people who were unemployed throughout the 90s now have jobs.
A press release from Parakura Horomia in April this year puts these statistics in perspective. There were 44,000 Maori on an unemployment benefit in December 1999 and in March this year that number had dropped to 9,902 – a 78 per cent drop.
34,000 Maori workers in jobs and off benefits. That’s about as many people as live in Gisborne.
Happy Labour Weekend.