These Tongan and Samoan women working on an Auckland factory's fish processing line in 1977 were part of a wave of Pacific immigrants after the Second World War. Production lines in factories absorbed many of the new arrivals, and in some industries they were the majority. This made them particularly vulnerable when New Zealand manufacturing collapsed in the late 1980s. In the early 1990s around a quarter of Pacific people in New Zealand were unemployed (a much higher rate than that of Pākehā New Zealanders, and slightly higher than Māori). These patterns of employment in low-paid occupations and higher unemployment rates continued for Pacific peoples in the 2000s.
Using this item
Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: AAQT 6421/B13,891
Photograph by Gregory Riethmaier
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