Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Maori and Pasifika poverty

No surprises that the income gap between Maori and Pasifika communities and what are still colloquially called 'Europeans' (I think they mean Pakeha) has grown over the past four years of wider economic contraction.

The Vulnerability Report, published by the NZ Council of Christian Social Services contains some frightening information on how the local recession and GFC (Global Financial Crisis) have impacted upon vulnerable whanau.

Maori youth NEET (Not in Employment, Education, or Training) is particularly galling (see graph below) but there are tragic consequences across the entire gamut of Maori and Pasifika communities.

It is difficult to know where to begin on resolving all this. First, it exposes the current political approach - Maori Party coalition with National and ACT - an abject failure (and I hear strange rumblings about Whanau Ora here in Otautahi and lesewhere, the one policy that the Maori Party has pinned their reputation on). Second, I am now very distrustful of the iwi-based approach of Treaty settlements, voiced earlier through ongoing posts on the so-called Maori Economy. The 'Maori Economy' represents Maori-centric businesses that variously engage with their own shareholders.

The wider reality of Maori economic being-ness is clearly bad and getting worse.

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Simon Lambert

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