The worst is yet to come for Māori businesses - Traci Houpapa

By Bronson Perich

The Federation of Māori Authorities (FOMA) says its businesses have fared comparatively well, through Covid-19.

FOMA chair Traci Houpapa says its businesses did well last year. This meant that they were cushioned from Covid constraints.

“That’s largely because the primary industries was recognised as an essential business during the lockdown period,” Traci Houpapa says.

“So we were still able to trade.”

But she says the worst is yet to come.

“The impact of Covid-19 in terms of the economic downturn will hit us in terms of years two and three,” Houpapa says.

This means that the difficulties will come in 2021 and 2022.

Wage subsidies and small business loans could extend the life of business struck by Covid-19. But the international situation will continue to affect Aotearoa companies.

"So we're really going to see businesses struggle once the subsidy comes off," she says.

She says Māori will be hit hard in the next two years. Businesses will find it difficult to pivot and reposition.