March 22, 2020
Maori economy hit early by virus
The chair of the Federation of Maori Authorities says Māori businesses were some of the first to feel the effect of the economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Traci Houpapa has welcomed the $12.1 billion economic support package but says many Māori businesses may need technical advice and support on how they can access what’s on offer.
She says while the first of the season’s kiwifruit shipments have left and log exports to China are showing signs of resuming, it’s a long way from business as usual.
"In the meantime, a lot of the businesses have had to retrench by either making their working week shorter or having to lay off staff, a number of different retrenchment decisions, so it's tough out there, really tough," Ms Houpapa says.
FOMA along with NZ Māori Tourism are working to provide support and guidance to struggling Māori businesses, and also working with the government to produce a Māori business response plan.
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