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Ed Sheeran

Maori Party fear COVID excuse to dump Maori workers
Photo: John Tamihere Facebook.

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Māori Party co-leader John Tamihere is bracing for a big increase in Māori unemployment - and he’s unsure how Budget 2020 can help.

Because of the need to rewrite the Budget to deal with the COVID-19 recovery, the Estimates tabled in parliament last week don’t square with some of the announcements being made by Ministers.

He says he’s keen to get more detail on the $900 million earmarked for Māori spending and says it needs to get in the street quickly.

He expects a lot of firms to slash their workforce in June when the financial year ends.

“Whether rightly or wrongly they are going to use COVID to get rid of a bunch of people that in the normal course of events employment law would have protected. You understand what will happen to us. We are often in the working poor so we are the most dispensable to a business. By June 30 you will see the unemployment numbers of Māori increase dramatically,” Mr Tamihere says.

John Tamihere

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