Yet their reliance on benefits is low compared to Maori.
At September 2013, there were 9,546 Pacific people on a Jobseeker Benefit compared to 42,277 Maori. As a percentage of all people on JS that equates to 7.5 and 33 percent. The Pacific share is roughly equal to their overall percentage of the population. The Maori share is more than double their overall percentage of the population.
Looking at sole parents the pattern is repeated with 10 percent of those receiving Sole Parent Support being Pacific and 46 percent, Maori.
The final benefit, Supported Living Payment, shows a similar ratio though the numbers are lower at 6 and 24 percent.
So why the difference?
Is it simply that Pacific families and communities are stronger and more supportive? Is it a matter of eligibility for benefits? Is there a shame attached to being on a benefit?
My knowledge of Pacific people and their culture isn't sufficient to provide the answer but I favour the first reason.
Given their self-reliance though I wonder why they vote Labour? Perhaps they don't, or won't in the future.
Here's a quote from 2011:
Mr Laulu [senior Labour Party office holder] said he did not believe Labour could continue to rely on Pacific people to vote Labour "because I'm union or my parents and family have always voted Labour".