Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Up in the morning, out on a job...

The line is from an old Willie Nelson song, 'Lucky Old Sun'. Work defines so much of who and what we are, for better or worse, and in a capitalist society, if you don't own something that earns you an income then you basically sell your labour.

That's what makes the Labour Force participation rate so important for an economy.

NZ Labour Force Participation Rate
What this means is that less NZers are working which can only lead to greater poverty. Next quarters figures are out in November. Will be interesting reading...

Fuss with my woman, toil for my kids
Sweat till I'm wrinkled and gray
But the lucky old sun ain't got nothing to do
But roll around heaven all day

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Canterbury Maori Unemployment... down again, slightly, tracking down with the overall Maori unemployment (still an unhealthy 12.8%). Big drop in Canterbury from September to December (2012), perhaps an indicator of the rebuild picking up speed.

Maori Unemployment in Canterbury and NZ (from Household Labour Force Survey, Statistics NZ)

I'm curious to see the figures for Christchurch migration, especially from the Eastern suburbs from where about 10,000 peeps have moved. These suburbs are home to a significant number of Maori. Whose left?

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Whakairo te whenua, whakairo te tangata

So much of our identity, our economy, our lives is tied to the land - hell we've made a proverbially industry out of it...

Whatungarongaro te tangata toitū te whenua

David Montgomery in the New Internationalist argues we're running it all down:

We have, in effect, been ‘mining’ soil for much of human history. Indeed, the decline in fertility and loss of agricultural lands through wind and water erosion is a problem as old as agriculture itself. Civilizations from Babylon to Easter Island have proven only as durable as the fertility of their land. (See more here).

Also it seems our soil is losing its nutrients and this leads to less nutritious crops. Jo Robinson of The New York Times writes:

Studies published within the past 15 years show that much of our produce is relatively low in phytonutrients, which are the compounds with the potential to reduce the risk of four of our modern scourges: cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia.

Scary, huh...

but kinda obvious if you have integrate all things but lets not point the finger.

What does this mean for kaitiakitanga? Do we have to go back to basics? Grow our own veges? (Trust me, it ain't easy getting the necessary daily calories for five mouths using 60 square metres of good soil and six bantams).

Do we buy organic? (paying the premium that the organic sector tells potential suppliers it can charge...)

Do we need more dustbowls?! (Prodding our leadership into action, like we've done with the GFC...)

As I've mentioned,we're restructuring at Lincoln 'varsity and I want to develop this theme of how we carve the land is how we carve the people. It crosses across all faculties, pulls in supportive Pakeha, focuses supportive Maori and their communities and starts the korero and the mahi we need to feed ourselves and feed the world, protect the future and live well.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Maori Wellbeing in Otautahi: a commentary on the CERA survey

A survey of wellbeing undertaken by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA, click here) shows an alarming pattern of Maori suffering some of the worse effects on well-being of the 2011-12 earthquakes.

For example, those saying their quality of life has decreased since the earthquakes (54% of 2,300 respondents) are more likely to be:
·         Living in temporary housing (70%)
·         Of Māori ethnicity (68%)
·         Aged 35 to 49 (60%) or 50 to 64 (62%)

There's more, like those more likely to say they have experienced stress 'always or most of the time' (23% of respondents) includes a disproportionate number of Māori respondents (36%).

This remarkable result seems to have been ignored or has simply failed to get any traction. 

Our research - updated at - is saying the same thing. 

I think the biggest challenge is to assert the plight of Nga Mata Waka in the new city. Ngai Tahu at least have had their mana whenua status affirmed in the Canterbury Earthgquake Recovery Act (enacted on Apriul 18th, just 4 weeks after the most damaging 22-2 event). Tautoko! But for the rest of us - and we'll know how many remain once the full census data is made available - we seem to have no official channels for what we use to call Taha Maori! 

Simon Lambert

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