Māori employment suffering from timber job losses
The recent spate of redundancies in the timber industry is a blow to Māori employment in particular, said the CTU today. The CTU Runanga called on the Māori Party to use whatever influence it had in government to help safeguard more jobs and create new opportunities.
Syd Keepa, CTU Vice President Māori, said: “Māori workers are heavily represented in the timber industry. With Māori unemployment already running at more than double the national average these redundancies will hit Māori communities in Ohakune, Matawhero and Kawerau particularly hard. There will be next to no jobs that these workers can go to.”
A bleak week for the timber industry saw 80 jobs axed at Winstone Pulp International (WPI) Tangiwai Mill, near Ohakune, 30 jobs lost at the Prime Sawmill at Matawhero, near Gisborne, and a further 26 laid off at Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts Kawerau Sawmill.
“The timber industry is worth $3.25 billion in exports and is an invaluable source of jobs for Māori workers in rural communities where there are few other employment options. We call on the Māori Party to do whatever it can to get Government action on unemployment,” said Syd Keepa.