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Kia ora!

21 September 2021

The return to Alert level 4 Lockdown after just a few hours’ notice saw Aotearoa trying to make sense of a new era and adapt to what is becoming a familiar way of working and living.

Lockdowns are a damn crude business to manage and endure. And sadly, they have also become strangely familiar. No longer a foreign concept, but one that comes with its own language we now comprehend, and restrictions we are made acutely aware of.

Motivated by COVID-19's life/death threat, a number of large government ministries, including MBIE and hundreds of community organisations, have been under the pump. It will continue until a level of vaccinated population allows us to take our foot off the pedal. Unfortunately, that luxury is not immediately imminent.

At the engine room is the Ministry of Health who is fielding enormous pressure to deliver on the biggest campaign against a pandemic ever. Technology is being tested and our people in communities have been working tirelessly.

The Government is also pulling out all the stops to stay ahead of this Covid-19  ngāngara while providing the best possible defence alongside multiple streams of support to the business and hauora communities most in need.

For Maori in this COVID-19 influenced environment, any lines between business, health, education, social sectors and tribal boundaries have become blurred. There is resurgence support to tautoko BAU (business as usual), but in reality, ‘the usual’ is looking nothing like it used to. Perhaps the time to be exceptionally creative in seeking and recognising new opportunities is upon us. But not before we get a firm grip on fully vaccinated whānau. The website was designed specifically for Maori with useful and supportive information.

Leading the way forward through the pandemic are our kaumātua who are currently 73% fully vaccinated and 85.8% at first dose status. As well as being more vulnerable, they are no doubt more familiar with the devastating impact the Spanish Flu had on our people, and are responsibly doing their bit to ensure that is not repeated.

If you haven’t already, I urge you, as well as members of your immediate and wider whānau, to get vaccinated ASAP.

Ngā mihi

Shar Amner

Te Tumu Houkura –General Manager

An across MBIE team will lead a series of Regional Māori Business Meetings (RMBM) scheduled for late October and early November. The focus of the MBIE team’s presentations will be on funding available to Māori. Joining MBIE will be TPK contractors who are seeking to identify what pain points or stumbling blocks exist for Māori striving to grow their business or economic development for the wider Māori whanau, hapu and iwi.

MBIE’s Māori Economic Development Unit, Te Kupenga has confirmed a repeat of the online Pākihi programme, and fellow colleagues will share details on the $2 million Vision Mātauranga fund (see below). A team member from Digital Boost will also be on hand to explain the resources and support for businesses on offer. A representative from KANOA (formerly Provincial Growth Fund) will also be present to explain how their seeding fund works for Māori, as well as a presenter from the MBIE’s Industry Training Framework (ITP) team.

More than 500 people attended 10 RMBM during late 2018 and early 2019, so early registrations of interest to get on the mailing list is highly recommended. Indicative locations and dates below.

  • Wednesday 20 October – Whangarei
  • Thursday 21 October – Rotorua
  • Thursday 27 October – Hastings
  • Friday 28 October – Gisborne
  • Thursday 4 November – Invercargill
  • Friday 5 November – Dunedin
  • Thursday 9 November – New Plymouth


Vision Mātauranga seeks new proposals

MBIE opened the 2022 Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund (VMCF) investment round on 15 September 2021. In 2020, the fund saw a significant increase in the number of Māori applicants with growing Māori interest set to continue.

VMCF invests approximately $2 million per year in new proposals and has been operating since 2013. The fund aims to strengthen capability, capacity, skills and networks between Māori and the science and innovation system, and to increase understanding of how research can contribute to the aspirations of Māori organisations and deliver benefit for New Zealand. 

The investment round closes 11 November 2021, and funding decisions will be made by April 2022.

Resurgence support

For businesses facing a reduction in revenue due to an alert level increase to Level 2 or higher, the Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) is a payment to help support viable and ongoing businesses or organisations impacted by COVID-19 alert levels. This has of course been evident since 17 August when the whole country moved to Alert Level 4. There has been a variation of levels since but no area has been more affected than Auckland which remains in Alert Level 4 longer than other areas. It should be noted, applications for RSP will remain open for 1 month after a nationwide return to Alert Level 1. This payment is not a loan, so does not need to be repaid. The payment must be used to help cover business expenses such as wages and fixed costs. Information on eligibility for the Resurgence Support Payment can be found on the IRD website.

Eligibility for the Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) – IRD website

Māori targeted resurgence support

Minister for Māori Development, Hon Willie Jackson recently announced the Government has reprioritised up to $5 million to provide immediate relief to vulnerable whānau Māori and communities during the current Covid-19 outbreak. Funding will initially focus on those areas hardest hit by the higher COVID-19 alert levels; Tāmaki Makaurau, Te Tai Tokerau and Northern Waikato. The purpose of the fund is to provide small grants to Māori organisations and iwi who work directly with the community. This may include support to ensure vulnerable Rangatahi are connected to their peer support networks, and support for kai packaging and delivery, as provider staff are focused on resourcing vaccination clinics. The COVID-19 2021 Whānau Recovery Fund is about providing immediate relief to those on the frontline, but also demonstrates the need to invest in the growth and resilience of our communities.

Contact Te Puni Kōkiri for information on how to apply


ERERE Koanga edition


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