Thursday, August 30, 2012

Where have all the flowers gone....

Kia ora koutou,
I remember a record in Mum and Dad's record collection by The Howard Morrison Quartet, 'Greatest Hits' or something like that. Some great songs - songs to croon to - and one that stood out was 'Where have all the flowers gone'. A sad song that I 'got, even as a kid, but see as more poignant now that I have children of my own.

Our whanau is like a lot of other whanau - we have a strong and proud military history (my cousin Tuhoe spoke of this when interviewed about the Urewera 'terrorism' raids; Tuhoe was a Vietnam vet). That young Maori and Pakeha are still being killed overseas must give us pause to reflect. To that end, a picture taken inside the lobby of Lincoln University's library. The two paintings on the wall are titled 'Mt Casino', the scene of some horrific battles in World War 2 in which the 28th Maori Battalion had a role.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Maori Food: promotion of a kai portfolio...

In order to arrest the apparent decline of national and regional economies, novel products are routinely developed for wealthy consumers seeking status-affirming ‘quality’ attributes: ‘Search’ attributes are those generally available to the consumer at the time and point of sale, such as price and presentation. ‘Experience’ attributes are not realised until preparation and consumption, and for food would include taste, moisture, crispness, and so on. ‘Credence’ attributes are those pertaining to environmental health, sustainability, ecological resilience issues and so on. Indigenous ventures, including Maori, now attempt to satisfy these wealthy (generally European or North American) consumers and their values which may include supporting Indigenous ventures, although the resulting niche markets can be very large and difficult to historically impoverished groups to supply.

The latest attempt by Maori to crack this market takes the form of a portfolio of wines, beer, and condiments. 

It remains a difficult enterprise, not least because the market is flooded with premium goods from exotic locations, scrambling for attention. At least it is pitched at the right audience, that is those wealthy punters who have most probably seen their personal wealth increase in the past 5 years while the majority of the consumers have put away the wallet for such luxury purchases: kina pate? Paua relish? Like a lot of things in Aotearoa/NZ, such delights are either free or beyond your working class purse!

I do expect to be sampling some of these wares sometime in the near future...

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Maori unemployment down

Although headlines read unemployment has risen over the past quarter, it has actually decreased for Maori, down to 12.8% from 13.9% in the first quarter of 2012.

Pasifika unemployment is also down, from 16% to 14.9%.

Canterbury figures are much worse overall: Male unemployment up from 5.5% to 6.5%; female rate disconcertingly up from 4.9% to 8.3% The overall rise, although slight, shows how badly stalled the economy is.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Maori Poverty 2: 'Cheaper to let Maori children die...'

A study by Clair Mills,  Rhema Vaithianathan and Paparangi Reid show the dire state of Maori health. In brief...

•  15,376 ‘excess’ avoidable hospital admissions for Māori children during the period 2003 to 2007;
•  36% of hospitalisations classified as ‘potentially avoidable’;
•  Tamariki Māori accessed GP consultations at a lower rate than non-Māori;
•  Pharmaceutical claims for non-Māori children were 15 % higher, with non-Māori laboratory claims  55% higher than Māori;
•  ACC claims for Māori children 32% lower than non-Māori, and median cost lower;
•  Specialist outpatient visits by Māori children 86% lower than those of non-Māori children.

Frightening, and shameful. 

Of course the Star Sunday Times opening sentence is designed to garner a response, begging the question why it hasn't received more attention, but reinforcing the NZCCSS study that shows Maori and Pasifika communities shoulder a disproportionate load in rebalancing the country's books. 

Considering the study was for the years prior to the current economic malaise, we're going to be more frightened, and more ashamed.
Simon Lambert

Create Your Badge