24 May 2009

Recession hits Maori forestry contractors in north

5:54 am on 24 May 2009

The recession is seen as a cruel blow to Maori forestry contractors in the Far North.

Te Rarawa runanga chairman Haami Piripi says prices have never been so low and transport costs so high.

He says Te Rarawa has mature forestry blocks in the Far North which are no longer worth harvesting.

After the 1990s downturn, Mr Piripi says many Maori who lost their jobs were encouraged to become contractors.

He says their businesses now have no work, but loan payments machinery they invested in, have to be met.

Mr Piripi also says the Government should abolish so-called "no dole zones" which have driven many Maori families back to Auckland.

The previous Government established 15 zones in the north where people could not receive the unemployment benefit, because there were no jobs there.

More can be about this on Insight after the 8am news on Radio New Zealand National.