The Ngati Kahungunu iwi is calling for strong and courageous action from the Government to help Maori avoid the negative impact of a recession.
Iwi chair Ngahiwi Tomoana says the Maori community needs skills training on all levels and the Government must take strong action to implement it.
A Maori economic workshop is to be held on 28 January to look at ways of fighting unemployment during the economic downturn. It will be led by Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples.
About 80 key stakeholders have been invited to take part, including Ngati Kahungunu.
Mr Tomoana welcomes the meeting, saying the Maori community needs a different approach from the Pakeha community to deal with the crisis.
At the same time, he says, the downturn may create new opportunities for Maori. Learning skills in agriculture, horticulture and the trades will allow them to fill skills shortages.