December 08, 2019
Merewyn Groom

Pacific economy has rising importance

Completed in 2018, our work contributed to the Treasury’s report “The New Zealand Pacific Economy”

A Treasury report which BERL is proud to have contributed to was featured in a recent episode of the RNZ Podcast “Two cents worth”. The report investigated the contribution to the New Zealand economy from our Pacific peoples.

The project was completed in collaboration with Integrity Professionals. BERL provided the quantitative analysis component of the report, establishing the size and scope of the Pacific economy in New Zealand. Treasury is using this work to provide a foundation for understanding the Pacific economy, which will help to support further growth of the Pacific economy in New Zealand.

Pacific individuals and businesses contribute $8 billion each year to New Zealand GDP

As all economies have unique characteristics, understanding the perspectives, motivators and visions of Pacific people is critical in considering how the Pacific economy works. 

We found that pacific individuals and businesses work in a wide range of industries, contributing $8 billion each year to New Zealand GDP, using income measures.   
Of course there is more to the Pacific community than the dollars generated. While income and spending are important, the Pacific perspective of wealth included aspects such as safety, happiness, health and productivity. This shows the importance of including broad measures of wellbeing, rather than relying on GDP alone as a measure of wellbeing in New Zealand.

Pacific peoples in New Zealand complete a huge 27,000 volunteer hours every week

A significant finding was that the cultural values, particularly work in the community, was a strong driving force in the Pacific community. The 310,000 strong Pacific peoples in New Zealand complete a huge 27,000 volunteer hours every week. Most of this takes place in churches, social enterprises, and other not-for-profit organisations.