COVID-19 has clearly shown the world that business-as-usual is gone!

That’s the call from Te Taumata chair, Chris Karamea Insley, who wants to see a strong focus on job creation to support the lives and dignity of whanau in the government’s 2020 Budget announcement tomorrow.

“One in four jobs in New Zealand results from international trade,” says Mr Insley.

“We must see a real focus on re-energising Maori trade, with priority given to the domestic, ANZAC and Asian markets – and possibly even the Middle Eastern market. And, this is backed-up by targeted delivery from Government ministries.

“Post COVID-19, Government must now start to look to Maori as a genuine partner towards the growth of wealth for our nation, tackles climate change, enables smart digital economy, encourages regional development especially in the food production sectors and enabled by science and technology. There has to be a strong focus on domestic and regional tourism.”

Mr Insley says Te Taumata applauds the work and resolve of Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, in managing the pandemic, and especially the effort to get targeted support for whanau and businesses during lockdown.

Through this period Te Taumata has met with Ministers putting forward proposals towards a more resilient business model for New Zealand and critical analysis towards a ‘resilient and smart Maori economy’.

“We’re looking forward to seeing if any of these messages have been heard in tomorrow’s budget 2020. Economic recovery is going to be a long and hard road. I call on the Prime Minister to stay the course. Now is the time for a firm hand on the rudder to navigate our country through these choppy-seas.

“The discussion we’ve had with Ministers Mahuta, Shaw and Twyford through lockdown gives us some comfort that they have been listening. But let’s see now if tomorrow’s budget announcement will meaningfully deliver on the needs of our whanau and continues to move with urgency through the weeks and months ahead,” says Mr Insley.