April 29, 2020
Maori growers face harvest challenges
The head of the Federation of Māori Authorities says more bodies are needed to get in the Māori harvest.
Traci Houpapa says the concentration of Māori assets in the export sector means international business and making sure the nation’s borders are safely managed are critical.
The loss of many traditional sources of labour because of the pandemic means the horticulture sector is screaming out for workers to pick and pack.
"I think there's a deficit of around 4000 jobs right now that the horticultural industry across the board, kiwifruit, apples, pears, bits and pieces like that, so they are looking for staff, people who can get out there in the orchard, out on the ground and start helping with that, so there are opportunities," she says.
Ms Houpapa says shareholders in Māori trusts and incorporations need to be kept informed about what is going on and warned to expect lower dividends this year.
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