June 28, 2021
Maori business counts cost of Level 2
A member of Wellington's Te Awe Māori Business Network says the latest lockdown has highlighted the urgency the sense of urgency needed to complete the Covid vaccination process.
The Wellington region went into partial lockdown on Thursday after an Australian tourist tested positive on his return to Sydney, and Level 2 restrictions will remain until at least the end of tomorrow.
Paul Retimanu from Manaaki Management, which runs cafes and conference centres including the Wharewaka on the waterfront, says it meant the postponement of ma number of conferences, which means more than $100,000 in deferred revenue.
But he says the partial lockdown was the right thing to do.
"If you look at this guy who came in from Australia – take away the Covid he brought in – he did everything you want him to do. He did the trace and track so that gave us the ability to identify exactly where he went and with whom he had contact with, and secondly as a tourist this guy probably ate in every bar and restaurant in Wellington, so he spent a truckload of money. So what this highlights is we need to get on top of the vaccination and we need to roll it out faster," he says.
Paul Retimanu says a shortage of chefs, front of house and managers since the start of Covid has also meant shorter hours for the cafes, and overall staff numbers are down from 120 to 80, the majority being young Māori and Pasifika.
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