New report reveals contribution Pacific New Zealanders make to economy

  • Hon Grant Robertson
  • Hon Aupito William Sio
Finance Pacific Peoples

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio have today launched a report showing the significant contribution Pacific New Zealanders make to the economy.

The Treasury report, The New Zealand Pacific Economy uses Treasury’s Living Standards Framework to identify the economic footprint of Pacific communities within the economy. 

“The report reveals Pacific peoples are contributing significantly to the economy despite some of the poor health, housing, education and employment outcomes experienced by many in their communities,” Grant Robertson says.

Key findings from the research include:

  • Pacific individuals and businesses contribute $8 billion to New Zealand’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) using the income measure.
  • Pacific workers earned $6.6 billion in the 2017 financial year, equating to six percent of the income of all New Zealanders. However, the average income was $40,300, compared to $53,500 for non-Pacific.
  • The spending of Pacific households contributed $10.4 billion to the expenditure measure of annual GDP.
  • Annual household income is estimated to be $12 billion from 101,000 households. 
  • There are approximately 1,500 Pacific business employers and 500 not-for-profit organisations with assets totalling $8.3 billion. Arising from these assets, the total production GDP (or value added) of Pasifika in New Zealand was estimated to be $3.1 billion annually.
  • Pacific New Zealanders across the country spent 27,000 hours per week doing voluntary activities.

“While the research explores the monetary value of the Pacific economy, the Government recognises that for Pacific people wealth is defined more broadly and includes knowledge, family, faith, education, health, and culture. We are taking these broader aspects into account as we develop our Wellbeing Budget,” Grant Robertson says.

“The report highlights the importance of increasing tertiary education for the growing youthful Pacific population. Improving Pacific people’s education success will lead to increased employment, higher incomes, home ownership and overall health and wellbeing for all our people,” Aupito William Sio says.

"Imagine how great our collective contribution would be if we could eliminate the disparities and inequalities that exist in health, housing, education, employment and incomes.

“The report’s findings are in line with feedback from conversations with more than 2,500 Pacific people as part of the Government’s work to refresh the Pacific Vision. This project has identified Pacific languages, cultures and identities, economic development and income, health and wellbeing, and youth as priority areas for action,” Aupito William Sio says.

The report was officially launched at the Pacific Aotearoa Summit in Auckland today along with the refreshed Pacific Vision, and a reflections report.

The report can be accessed here.  

More information about the Summit, including live-streaming of the event, is available at