Speech for the NZ Māori Tourism webinar for Māori businesses

E aku nui, e aku rahi, e aku whakatamarahi ki te rangi, tēnā tātou katoa.
Kā tika kia whakarangatiratia o tātou mate, rātou kua hūpeke atu ki te pae o mahara, e moe okioki.
Rātou kia rātou, tātou kia tātou. Tēna tātou katoa.
Ka tahuri ake ki tēnei kaupapa whakahirahira, ki tēnei hui whakakotahi mai i a tātou te kāhui Tāpoi Māori, Pākihi Māori.
Kawea mai ngā kokonga kāinga kōrero o te motu ki konei, kia rongona, kia māramatia, kia mōhiotia.
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.
Kia ora and thanks for having me at your hui today.
I want to start by acknowledging how difficult it is to be a business right now with the Delta variant of COVID-19 in our communities.
I also want to acknowledge the New Zealand Māori Tourism Board and chairman Dale Stephens for organising this webinar today.
We know the pandemic has already had a devastating impact on the New Zealand tourism industry, including the many Māori tourism operators across Aotearoa.
There are an estimated 10,000 Māori businesses across the motu and some of you have had to pivot or hibernate because of COVID before. Some of you have even had to close.
I have seen your resilience and kaha through this and I commend you for that determination.
This time again brings concerns for our businesses as we pull together as a nation to stamp out COVID so we can be in a position to move down alert levels.
 A positive difference this time is we are more prepared about what to expect and our services are better set up to support Māori businesses like yourself.
Accessing support
It’s okay to ask for help to get you through this. I encourage you to ask for help! We need you to thrive through COVID so when we have this thing under control, your business will still be there.
These are uncertain times, like no other. This government is aware of the difficulties people are facing.
For business support, we have kaikorero with us today from the Ministry of Social Development, and IRD to talk about the Resurgence Support Payment and The Wage Subsidy.
Keeping business alive through COVID, also depends on your personal and collective wellbeing. Our hauora is important and I’m pleased to say that NZ Māori Tourism is looking to provide wellbeing activities.
Keep an eye on their website for details, as it looks to make online yoga, karakia and counselling sessions available.
For social services – there are a range of services available through the Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency based in the North Island.
For the South Island there is Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu and for our Pasifika whānau, we have Pasifika Futures.
These agencies are supporting whānau for any urgent needs such as kai, heating, communications, connectivity and other supports.
Please access these services if you need them and some of the other kaikōreo will be able to share the mahi they are doing to tautoko our Māori businesses.
Māori economic resilience
Māori businesses employ three times as many Māori as non-Māori and it is paramount that we manaaki and look out for each other. It has a positive knock on effect!
I’ve visited Māori enterprises across the motu and you are exemplars of sustainable and resilient operations, driven by tikanga Māori and social and environmental values.
As a country we have been through lockdown before and we will do it again.
We want to safeguard the future of Māori enterprise and ensure that you are getting the extra support you need.
All the information you need on financial support for businesses is available via the website.
I hope you find the kōrero helpful today and make connections through the speakers and the other attendees. 
Ka hoki ake ki ngā kōrero a kui mā, a koro mā e kī ana; ‘Mā tōu rourou, mā taku rourou, ka ora te iwi.
Tēnā tātou katoa!

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