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Māori women effectively working for free for the rest of the year

Council of Trade Unions Co-convenor of Te Rūnanga o Ngā Kaimahi Māori o Aotearoa, Laures Park said that today was the day that Māori women effectively started working for free until 2019, because of the gender pay imbalance compared with the pay of men.

“Per hour of work, Māori women on average receive $24.26, compared with the $31.82 received by Kiwi men. That’s a gender pay imbalance of 23.76% – and it’s even worse compared with Pākehā men, who earn on average $33.59 an hour, an imbalance of 27.78%. In just 279 days, the average Kiwi man has already earned what Māori women have to work all year for.”

“Māori women’s work, both paid and unpaid has upheld New Zealand’s economy and society forever, but has been undervalued and ignored by Pākehā leadership and measurement systems since colonisation. The continued undervaluing of Māori women’s place in society is made visible in this massive and unfair imbalance in pay.”

“It’s neither fair nor right that Māori women receive such low pay, and it is also a Te Tiriti o Waitangi issue. We cannot have independence and sovereignty when we do not have economic resilience or dignity. The Rūnanga from the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi, Whaea Hineraumau Te Apatu and Te Runanga, Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa (NZNO) and the Council of Trade Unions Te Kauae Kaimahi have joined on to the Mana Wāhine claim to the Treaty of Waitangi. We have hope that this claim can address the double pay discrimination Māori women experience, against both their gender and ethnicity.”

“Employers, government and unions all must take responsibility and action to end the illegal gender pay injustice inflicted on wāhine Māori. Those profiting off the low pay Māori women receive for their labour are not just diminishing our mana in the workplace, they are also taking food off the table of Māori families, and resources out of New Zealand cities and towns. When we end the gender pay imbalance for Māori women, we will ultimately strengthen Kiwi communities, and be able to hold our heads up high again on the world stage.”