Wages 12% higher for reo Māori speakers - TradeMe

By Will Trafford

People who can kōrero te reo Māori are on average paid 12 per cent more than those who can’t, according to TradeMe.

Data from the company’s jobs portal reveals the average salary for a role that includes te reo fluency or familiarity was $74,000 in the third quarter of this year.

Trade Me Jobs Director Matt Tolich says some 800 roles are live on the company’s site right now, seeking out reo Māori speakers.

‘Knowledge of te reo and te ao Māori are definitely an advantage for job hunters and demand for job applicants who have these skills will only increase,” Tolich says.

Earlier this week the company revealed after Māori being disproportionately affected by Covid-19 related lay-offs, job listings had risen in regions of high Māori populations following Te Mahere Whai Mahi Māori - the government’s Māori Employment Action Plan.

“Northland and Taranaki, saw a year-on-year increase in listings last quarter, while every other region saw a drop,” Tolich said.

Capital  demand

Despite that, Tolich said demand for reo Māori speakers was actually highest in Pōneke.

“The Wellington region saw the highest number of [reo Māori] job listings in the third quarter, followed by Auckland and then Bay of Plenty,” he said.

Government and hauora were the sectors most likely to be seeking reo Māori speakers, Tolich says.

“Education saw the highest number of job listings including the keywords ‘te reo’ in the third quarter, followed by government and council, and healthcare roles,” he said.

TradeMe predicts competition for jobs will rise in the coming months as the government increases immigration; it had already seen an increase in the applications for each job listing on its site in the third quarter.

“We reckon we’ll continue to see applications climb, with more people in the market for a new job, paired with a significant number of immigrants entering the country,” Tolich said.

Tolich said not just fluency in the language but even varied te reo skill levels were increasingly “preferred” or “advantageous” for those seeking work.

“Te reo Māori is an important language for jobs across many sectors.”

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