Pop up clinics for Northland Māori businesses to get support kanohi ki te kanohi post-cylone

Flooded roads in Kaipara District, Northland.

Flooded roads in Kaipara District, Northland.
Photo: RNZ / Soumya Bhamidipati

A series of pop up clinics are being organised for Māori businesses in Northland still feeling the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle.

The clinics, organised by Whāriki Te Tai Tokerau, will see eight different organisations provide support, including Te Hiringa, Poutama, BDO, NorthChamber, Te Puni Kōkiri, Amotai and Ministry of Social Development.

Whāriki project lead Missy Armstrong said having multiple organisations under one roof will help with with many different situations.

“It’s a one stop shop, drop-in clinic for our businesses to come and meet face to face, kanohi ki te kanohi, and talk about the types of support that they need to either help them through Cyclone Gabrielle, or for that future planning,” she said.

Armstrong said the Māori-specific clinics were needed because Māori are always the last to ask for support.

“Often they’ll say no and so we will prompt them with questions like ‘are you back to business as usual?’, ‘are all you staff here’ and then they’ll say, ‘well no actually my staff – half of them have left and gone down to Hawke’s Bay to help whānau there. Half of them are out supporting their hapū on their marae and the other half are home because other reasons’,” Armstrong said.

Businesses are eligible for funding support from Northland Inc, which can provide between $5000 – 40,000 to help with immediate cash flow needs.

The first clinic kicked off in Dargaville last week, with the next one scheduled in Kaikohe on Wednesday.

Whāriki did not have estimates for how many businesses they expect will take part.

“We’re not interested in how many businesses come through, it’s the quality of connections that we can make for those businesses that come.

“So if we get five, we’re happy with five businesses that come through as long as there’s the connection to the support that those businesses need and we know the difference it will make for them and their community,” Armstrong said.

A lot of businesses will not ask for help because they believe there are other businesses in stickier situations, she said.

“When we say there’s funding available to support your business, often the answers are ‘we’ll send it down to Hawke’s Bay because they’re way worse off than me, or I don’t need it in particular but maybe our iwi or marae might need that support,” she said.

She advised those who were struggling to reach out, because there was a village waiting to help support them.

“It can be really difficult and overwhelming to navigate the various support agencies, whether they’re government or private.”

“That’s where Whāriki comes in as that they can connect with us and we will help direct them, help breakdown some of those barriers and make it simplify the process for them to connect with the right agency.”

Source link

Leave a Reply