There has been substantial improvement in ethnic pay gaps for the first time since they were first measured in 2000. The Māori pay gap (the difference between average pay for Māori and non-Māori employees) has fallen from 11.2% in 2018 to 9.9% in 2019. The Pacific pay gap has fallen from 21.6% to 20.1%. There was less progress in the Asian pay gap, and this may have been because of the large increase in Asian new recruits in the Public Service over the past year – new recruits tend to have lower pay.

Like the gender pay gap, ethnic pay gaps can relate to occupational segregation or the occupation profile of a particular ethnic group. Māori, Pacific and Asian public servants are over-represented in occupation groups that are lower paid.

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