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Lack of Diversity and Inclusion


Most organisations acknowledged they faced key challenges in developing stronger engagement with Māori and Pacific Peoples. One challenge was a lack of knowledge and understanding in approaching these partnerships. Willingness to engage with Māori and Iwi varied from genuine interest to reluctance were conveyed.

Active engagement of Māori and Pacific Peoples was stated as essential, encouraging them to apply for positions within organisations and become association members. Historically, these communities tended to remain in entry-level roles, limiting their progression to higher positions and resulting in a scarcity of candidates from these backgrounds in sector associations, including top businesses.

Language barriers, particularly for non-English speakers, posed additional difficulties, impacting understanding and opportunities in major industries, especially in Auckland. Promptly providing language support and resources was crucial for ensuring equal opportunities for success in the sector.

"There seems to be more Asian people in our [kitchen design] classes compared to Māori."

"We've experienced racism in the workplace from some non-Māori staff."

"There has been a lack of diversity in gender and race within some industries for a long time... We're trying to be more open in our association and be more inclusive overall."

To address these challenges, a strong call was made for practical solutions, educational programmes, and sector-wide initiatives promoting diversity and inclusion.

Creating meaningful pathways and pipelines that enabled Māori and Pacific Peoples to move beyond entry-level positions and into leadership roles and successful business ownership was noted as crucial.

Cultural competency and addressing workplace racism were vital for creating an inclusive environment, recognising, and respecting diverse cultures and values.

Gender diversity was also a significant focus, with initiatives aimed at changing the perception of Finishing Trades as a male-dominated field and encouraging more women to pursue careers in the sector.

Greater inclusivity and representation of underrepresented groups within the sector were accentuated.

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