Rotorua could lose thousands of jobs in the coming weeks if it doesn't get the right level of support, MP Todd McClay says.
His comments come after a Te ao Māori news reported staff at the world-famous tourist attraction Te Puia and the New Zealand Māori and Crafts Institute were waiting to hear if staffing numbers will be cut.
McClay applauded the Government's $12.1 billion support package but said that for big tourism employers such as Te Puia, the package needed to go "much further".
The Government's Covid-19 response package announced this week included a $500 million boost for health, $8.7b in support for businesses and jobs and $2.8b for income support and boosting consumer spending.
"Ultimately, the support per worker will help but these are businesses that for a period of time will have no cash flow at all ... Many of them won't survive, so I call on the Government to actually broaden their support package."
McClay said, "We face thousands of people losing their jobs in Rotorua in the coming weeks unless we get the balance right ... and it's going to be very, very hard.
"We need to make sure the support gets to the right people.
"Everything that can be done to keep businesses open, so that their local people keep their jobs ... will be money well spent," he said.
The Rotorua Daily Post understands that Te Puia and the New Zealand Māori and Crafts Institute are reviewing staffing levels in response to the impact Covid-19 has on the tourism market.
Harry Burkhardt, chairman of the institute and Te Puia said, in a written statement, the businesses were operating in unprecedented times, which required an unprecedented response.
"The board is working through this response with our people. They are, and continue to be our main priority."
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said Te Puia was an "iconic business" for Rotorua.
"It's employing many of our families. It has over generations ... I would hope that the schools can keep going so that one day when we are over this, they will be ready for business."
She said all of the "big players" were focusing on the best interests of staff and stakeholders.
"But we do know there are going to be real casualties through this uncertain time. That's inevitable."
Waiariki MP Tāmati Coffey said Te Puia's challenges were "Rotorua-wide problems".
"It's pretty tough for everybody ... having no customers coming in at the moment has been a real shock."
However, he said there had been a "collective sigh of relief" from businesses he had met with, following the support package announcement.
Coffey said he had met people who applied for funding on Tuesday and had it in their account on Thursday.
The Ministry of Social Development is prioritising processing funding from this week's package.
"It's not business as usual," Coffey said.
He said the best thing New Zealand could do to protect people and their jobs was to help contain the virus.
"That is the solution to make sure that we don't have a worse situation."
The third reading of the Māori Arts and Crafts Institute Bill, which would vest Te Puia in the hands of Rotorua iwi, was deferred on Thursday.
Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta said dealing with Covid-19 was Te Puia's main priority at the moment "and we fully support them".
"I will be working with Wāhiao Tūhourangi o Whakarewarewa, the hapū of Ngāti Hurungaterangi, Ngāti Taeotū, Ngā Te Kahu o Ngāti Whakaue and the Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust on behalf of Ngāti Whakaue on the timing around getting this bill back before Parliament over the coming weeks."