March 16, 2020
Fears rise from economic virus impact
A Māori business consultant says fears some of the deaths from coronavirus will be suicides if the right supports aren't put in place quickly.
Chris Karamea Insley says Māori have already been affected negatively by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially those working in forestry fisheries, farming and tourism.
Forestry is particularly critical because of the way contract structures have evolved to shift much of the financial risk to the workforce, especially those who are contractors.
"They are the ones carrying all this debt for the trucks, for the harvesting equipment etc. They are really feeling it right now and it is likely a few of them will go under because they are carrying a large amount of debt they owe to the banks. The guys working in the crews, they are not sure if they will have a job. Some of them are putting their hands up that they are becoming suicidal," he says.
Mr Karamea Insley says not just the government but banks and Māori organisations need to step up and provide help and support for what is likely to be a long term response.
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