November 13, 2018
Sam Green

The Pacific Economy in New Zealand

The New Zealand economy is broad and comprises of diverse and thriving communities contributing to the overall New Zealand economy.  As the New Zealand economy has grown, some aspects of our economy have flown under the radar, in particular, the New Zealand Pacific economy.

Recently, in collaboration with Integrity Professionals (IPRO), BERL had the opportunity to study the size and scope of the Pacific economy in New Zealand. The report provides a foundation for understanding the Pacific economy, to support further growth of the Pacific economy in New Zealand.

As all economies have unique characteristics, understanding the Pacific perspectives, motivators and visions is critical in considering how the Pacific economy works. Through interviews with Pacific business leaders, church leaders, community leaders and fanau leaders, we were able to frame our analysis from a Pacific perspective.

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 completed 27,000 volunteer hours per week, in churches, social enterprises, and other not-for-profit organisations.

Pacific individuals and businesses work in a wide range of industries, contributing $8 billion to the New Zealand GDP, using income measures.   

An important finding of this report was that there is more to the Pacific community than generating dollars. 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.

The report can be found here.