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Welcome to the Pacific Pay Gap Inquiry

New research examining the factors that contribute to Pacific, Māori, and ethnic pay gaps in Aotearoa New Zealand has been launched by the Pacific Pay Gap Inquiry. The report ‘Empirical analysis of Pacific, Māori, and ethnic pay gaps in New Zealand’, is the first in a series of reports published by the Inquiry. Conducted by AUT’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI), researchers found that only 27 percent of the pay gap for Pacific males could be explained, and 39 percent for Pacific females. 


“This research provides further evidence about what we’ve long suspected – the bulk of the Pacific Pay Gap can’t be explained and is at least partly due to invisible barriers like racism, unconscious bias and workplace discriminatory practices” – Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo, Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner.  

What is the Pacific Pay Gap?

The Pacific Pay Gap is a high-level indicator of the difference in pay between Pacific workers and the highest-paid gender and ethnic group in Aotearoa New Zealand – New Zealand European men. 


In 2020, the gap in average hourly wages experienced by Pacific men was 24 per cent and Pacific women was 27 per cent when compared to New Zealand European men. Pacific Pay Gaps are substantial and persistent, and have not changed significantly for more than ten years.

What is the Pacific Pay Gap Inquiry?

The Human Rights Commission is leading a national inquiry into the Pacific Pay Gap to better understand why this pay gap exists and how it can be closed.


Since July 2021, we have been engaging with Pacific workers with a special focus on those in the private sector in Manufacturing, Construction and Health, including the self–employed, businesses, unions, NGOs, and other community groups. Through the Inquiry, we will recommend solutions to address the pay gap which will be detailed in a series of reports to be launched from July 2022.

Pacific Language Information 

Contact us now

We are always keen to hear from you, you can all us on 0800 496 877 or click the button below and send us an email.