August 26, 2021
Underemployment heightens lockdown woes
The chief executive of Te Pūtahitanga says the South Island whānau ora network has received more than 10,000 calls since the start of the lockdown, almost all of them seeking some sort of food support.
Helen Leahy says that leads to requests for other sorts of support, such as medical conditions or help with power hills.
She says changing work patterns means people have greater uncertainty.
"A lot of the whānau coming had reduced hours anyway because of the lockdown in 2020. This latest lockdown has just exacerbated a difficult situation and that's why they're asking for help because they have been struggling on reduced, hours, part-time work, underemployed already. For many of them being on a casual contract, they've got no security to even ask for a buffer," Ms Leahy says.
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