Budget 2023 is an equity enabler for Pasifika.

By Loma-Linda Tasi (Whitireia)

The Budget 2023 investment aimed at wellbeing and prosperity for Pacific communities is an equity enabler. The Pacific peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand are a fast growing and youthful population, and a significant part of the Aotearoa New Zealand workforce that will be increasingly realised over the next few decades. The increased funding injections into education is a welcomed relief, for the immediate part, that aims to address the current burden that is experienced by education service providers.

The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Barbara Edmonds acknowledges the Budget initiatives for Pacific people focuses on youth, skills, and learning. This is a key output of the education sector, including tertiary education as outlined in the Action Plan for Pacific Education 2020-2023 which strives to ensure cultural relevance is fundamental to the development of skills and workforce ready citizens.

The Budget allocation for education seems promising for the future of young, Aotearoa New Zealanders, with emphasis on the implementation of effective learning environments including the support for community-led employment and training courses that involves internships and apprentice opportunities allowing for earning income while learning.

Addressing equity requires relevant cultural knowledge and adequate resource within the tertiary sector, in particular with the current reformation of vocational education. Equally important is the support for kamahi and capacity to deliver quality and effective education that is ākonga-centred.

Strengthening identity brings massive returns to Aotearoa New Zealand’s economy that is embodied through a thriving, prosperous and healthy community, led by resilient individuals and interconnected communities that collectively promote wellbeing.