RNZ: Budget 2020: Māori to get $900m to deal with Covid-19 fallout

The government will spend $900 million in Budget 2020 to support whānau, hapū and iwi to deal with the fall-out of Covid-19.

…Massey University Te Au Rangahau co-director Dr Matt Roskruge, who is a senior lecturer in economics and finance, said he welcomed the focus on creating jobs in the regions.

“The regions are probably going to be the hardest hit in terms of employment and the slowest to recover,” he said.

“The $200 million for the regional economy will certainly go some way to supporting Māori regional economic development, but the devil is going to be in the detail.

“We need to be a little bit careful to make sure there are not communities, towns, rural areas that are isolated and that are forgotten in the recovery story.”

Lack of tailored Māori business support

To date, there has been no targeted Māori economic support package to help Māori businesses deal with the impacts of Covid-19.

Dr Roskruge said he is disappointed there is no specific focus on Māori businesses in the Budget.

“I didn’t feel like there was an awful lot of thought put into how to pass money over to Māori organisations to help them find on the ground solutions for the Māori economy.

“In saying that, $200 million isn’t a small amount of funding, it is probably at a level that is going to make a difference but I don’t think it is going to be enough to make the level of difference that we perhaps need.

“I think the government has perhaps hoped that the Māori economy is going to get caught up in that big spending package.”

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