$56.5m Māori Covid-19 response package announced

By Te Ao - Māori News

Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced that the government will spend more than $56.5 million on specific Māori targeted support in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

“We know that we need to help our people and provide targeted support to Māori businesses and help our vulnerable Māori communities," Minister Henare says.

“Māori Ministers have been developing a range of responses and today we are announcing a further package that takes a whole of government approach to providing health, social and economic support tailored to meet the specific needs of Māori.”

The package includes: 

* $10 million for whānau Māori community outreach;

* $30 million targeted health funding for Māori;

* $15 million to Whānau Ora to reach into Māori communities;

* $1 million to provide Māori business with advice and planning;

* $470,000 to Te Arawhiti (Office of Māori Crown Relations) to work with iwi on local response plans; and

* He Poutama Rangatahi's (a cross-agency youth unemployment pilot) redeployment of 2,000 workers to assist with delivery of services.

The package is in addition to other COVID-19 support being provided by government, Minister Henare says. 

“Our government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or the $500 million fund to strengthen our fight against COVID-19 and ensure health services are there for those who need them the most."

The Minister says the package will provide the additional help needed to support Māori communities and businesses through COVID-19.

“My Māori ministerial colleagues and I know we must act now to protect our people, particularly our kaumātua and those who already have significant health issues.

“Times like these can be incredibly stressful so it’s important that we make manaakitanga and kōtahitanga the centre of our response.

“Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi – through collective contribution our communities can stay safe and healthy,” he says.