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Māori and Pasifika in the service sector

New Zealand’s service sector workforce is very diverse and is rapidly changing.

The current service sector workforce is made up of:*

11 percent
5 percent
11 percent
77 percent
77 percent


Auckland, in particular, is seeing significant shifts and people of Asian descent now represent 29% of the Auckland service sector workforce.


The service sector employs 668,000 people in New Zealand (28% of workers), and this is forecast to grow by 30% by 2020.

* Please note that the total adds to 108% because some people identify with more than one ethnicity.

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Supporting the development of the Māori and Pasifika service sector workforce

Māori and Pasifika make a significant contribution to the service sector workforce, and ServiceIQ is committed to encouraging and celebrating their success. ServiceIQ’s industries have a strong, and growing, participation of Māori and Pasifika in schools programmes and on-job training. 13% of the trainees in our industries are Māori, and 9% are Pasifika.

In 2016, we started developing a Pasifika Action Plan and Māori Action Plan. These were released in May 2017 after consultation and engagement with Māori and Pasifika communities, businesses, and learners.


Pasifika Action Plan

Within the service sector, our Pasifika Action Plan focuses on:
  • exploring and enhancing opportunities for Pasifika in the service sector
  • helping to build a confident and competent Pasifika workforce in the service sector
  • celebrating Pasifika success in the service sector.

Download Pasifika Action Plan


Māori Action Plan

Within the service sector, our Māori Action Plan focuses on:
  • strengthening the pipeline of Māori moving into jobs in the service sector
  • supporting and developing Māori learners in the service sector
  • celebrating Māori success in the service sector.

Download Māori Action Plan

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Profiles of Pasifika and Māori ambassadors, champions, and businesses

The service sector is full of inspirational stories. Read some of these success stories below.


Lialiai Semisi
Parai Parai
Secrets at the museum
Eliesa Sime
Maori Culture Tourism Special 870x450px
All aboard the Tamaki waka

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Other useful information

There are some useful demographics shown below for 2015 (2016 statistics are still being compiled). The statistics show the percentage of ServiceIQ trainees by ethnicity and level and compared with other ITOs. The data also shows the completion statistics for Māori and Pasifika trainees, by level, and the employment in the services sector by ethnicity (from the 2013 census data). Also shown is the projected population growth for the New Zealand population for 2038.

ServiceIQ has been involved with a number of research projects in collaboration with Ako Aotearoa. The Pasifika Success in workplace settings report (almost finalised) shows the interventions that employers can make with Pasifika trainees to improve successful completions of programmes within workplace training.

A model for successful Māori learners in workplace settings shows how Māori apprentices approach learning in the workplace and how this may provide guidance for employers to more successful outcomes.

The Workforce Development page shows the efforts being made by ServiceIQ to address six key priority actions developed in consultation with industry, and also links to the Regional Roadmap documents to help create detailed actions for the development of a vision of a world-class service industry.

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Service sector

Discover service sector and on-job trainee demographics.

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workplace research

Pasifika learner success in workplace settings research.

workplace research

Māori learner success in workplace settings research.

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ServiceIQ advocates for Workforce Development.

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Caroline Harris

Caroline (Ligi) Harris

ServiceIQ’s Pasifika Engagement Advisor

Caroline (Ligi) Harris joined ServiceIQ in 2015 as Pasifika Engagement Advisor.

Caroline has worked extensively in the community education sector to raise the success and achievements of Pasifika in Auckland. She is of Samoan (New Zealand), American, and Chinese heritage with ancestral links to Tonga.

Please contact Caroline for any inquiries related to our support for Pasifika learners, communities, schools, and service sector businesses.
Tom Parsons

Tom Parsons

ServiceIQ’s Māori Engagement Advisor

Tom Parsons joined ServiceIQ in 2017 as Māori Engagement Advisor.

Tom is from the nations of Ngati Porou, Rongowhakaata and Tuhoe with many whakapapa connections through his Taiapa whanau. He lives with his whanau in Taranaki where he has his own tourism business. Tom is keen to support the progress of the Māori businesses and Māori trainees.

Please contact Tom for any inquiries related to our support for Māori learners, communities, schools, and service sector businesses.