Māori Employment - Impact of COVID-19, July 2020

Te Puni Kōkiri is leading a data & analytics programme which began in March 2020 to help understand the potential impact of COVID-19 on Māori.

The document published here is a summary of the modelling work completed in June 2020 that focuses on the predicted impact of COVID-19 on Māori employment. Te Puni Kōkiri commissioned Ernst & Young to generate the data and analytics used in this summary report.

Based on this modelling, Māori unemployment is expected to peak at 40,000 above pre-COVID levels. This represents a total unemployment rate for Māori of up to 20% (up from 8% in December 2019). The industries with the highest projected increase in unemployment in June 2020 are accommodation and food services, manufacturing, construction  and retail trade.

The first tranche of modelling, delivered in April 2020 to Te Puni Kōkiri, showed a much bleaker picture. It estimated additional Māori unemployment at 70,000 with a Māori unemployment rate up to 25%. The key variables in revising down the initial figures is the shorter than expected lockdown period and the impact of the Government’s Budget 2020 assistance package.

The modelling also provides a break-down of the economic impact of COVID-19 on regions, wāhine Māori and rangatahi.

Te Puni Kōkiri is using this modelling information to develop a work programme with other government and non-government agencies to mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19 and to create new opportunities.