New figures released exclusively to 1NEWS reveal that the Māori unemployment rate is expected to peak at levels higher that during the Global Financial Crisis, but it’s still lower than the Government’s worst-case scenario.
The bleak news came as the Labour party launched their Māori candidate campaign Infront of a packed house in Māngere today.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took the opportunity to praise her MPs while reassuring the community they’d do their best to help them get back on their feet.
“In times of deep economic pain, it cannot be our whānau and our rangatahi who pay the highest price under Labour. I will not; we will not let that happen," she said.
“I have seen first-hand how hardworking they are, I have seen first-hand the love that they have for their people."
The Government had initially had worse figures in April, putting unemployment figures at nearly 30 percent for Māori but remodelled it to consider the wage subsidy and the prompt shift out of lockdown.
Employment and Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson was at his evangelical best, describing wins for Māori and saying plans were in place to help the community.
“We’ve been looking at the numbers too. We’ve got some of the projections so now the pressure’s on to deliver.”
Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare hopes the future steps made by the Government will be able to not only provide a “safety net” to the community but to help Māori in the longer term.
“The hope is that Whānau Ora pushes beyond… to something that is far more aspirational to support whanau who are going to lose their job to look for more mahi. Or perhaps one of our kaupapa we can help them get into their own pakihi.”
While job security may be seen as a priority for these politicians, the economic futures for so many more remain uncertain.