I thought Anake's introduction in the latest Te Karaka hit many good points. I like the water/current/waka metaphors, they make sense to me.
If, as Anake says ,"One quarter of the Maori labour force could therefore be unemployed in the foreseeable future." is true, and I think it is, then we need to prepare. It is good to see Ngai Tahu involved with the Government on the summit's and taskforce's; so why don't we do the same for Ngai Tahu whanui? Perhaps a summit or taskforce, made up of Ngai Tahu from a wide selection of backgrounds and skills.
They could be given responsibility for assessing the current situation, the likely future scenario, the current capacity to support Ngai Tahu whanui, the necessary future capacity that may be required.
At the least, it would give the powers that be a real view of tribal members and at the best, it will help prevent the consequences of dropping financially into a big hole, namely people hurting themselves and others.
There are many areas to consider not just the financial. When you lose your job and the pressure comes on, it's easy to go to drink and drugs, it's easy to feel useless and a burden, and it's easy to get depressed and suicidal. We have to support our people through the grief cycle that occurs when jobs get lost. As Anake says, "Our communities will continue to support whanau ..." True, and we need to support the communities supporting the whanau.
As is often the case, the whole situation is really a wonderful opportunity. This will bring us closer together and it will make us stronger. Adversity binds people together.