NZ businesses need to overcome bias about Maori - Westpac
A bias that Maori workers are seen as not a 'good fit' remains in New Zealand workplaces and needs to change, Westpac says.
Maori currently make up 15 per cent of the country's population and that was expected to grow to almost 20 per cent by 2038 because the Maori population was far younger than the New Zealand population overall.
But many sector leaders that Westpac spoke to for a new report emphasised a shortfall of Maori with business, engineering, management and higher-level trade skills.
"Bias, unconscious or otherwise, whereby Maori are seen as different and not a 'good fit' remains. This needs to be overcome and an opportunity exists for corporates to take the lead in actively recruiting a diverse range of people, including Maori graduates and Maori for cadetship programme."
There was a huge opportunity to increase Maori qualification levels and prepare for jobs of the future, the bank said.
More graduate and cadetship programmes, growing trades, engineering and business skills and placing more value on diversity were some of the opportunities identified in the report.
Westpac's Industry Insights report on Maori in the New Zealand economy identified a number of key opportunities for Maori and how Government, business, Maori collectives and education providers can work together to ensure Maori economic growth.
Mandatory internships in tertiary education providers backed by the right type and number of businesses needed to be encouraged to expose more organisations to Maori students.
Another question was how Maori could maximise economic returns on their collective land and financial holdings.
The report highlighted that for Maori, economic returns went beyond individual success; it was also about maximising well-being through better financial, social, cultural and environmental outcomes.