Interesting data on the declining trend for NZ graduates in our key sectors with the number of domestic students completing qualifications in agriculture or related sectors between 2009-14 fell by 2000 students.
I did a quick post on the latest CERA (Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority) Wellbeing Survey a while ago and promised an analysis of Maori experiences...
First, who's still struggling? Those less likely to rate their overall quality of life positively are:
Those who have unresolved claims at the property they own and usually live in (49%)
Living with a health condition or disability (56%)
Living in temporary housing (57%)
From a household with an income of less than $30,000 (59%) or $30,001 to $60,000 (72%)
Of Māori ethnicity (62%)
Of Pacific, Asian, or Indian ethnicity (66%)
Renting the dwelling they usually live in (67%)
Two things are remarkable about these data.
First, they are essentially unchanged over the past few years. Here's a graph of Maori, those with health conditions or disabilities, of Pacific, Asian, or Indian ethnicity (lets ignore the diversity within these broad categories...):
The trend lines are actually UP for a each of these categories! (The slight decline, 63% to 62%, for Maori is within the margin of error of 2%).
Going through the report I'm struck by how often Maori respondents are recording negative experiences to the questions. For example, whereas 7% of those surveyed are more likely to say the 'loss of access to the natural environment' has had a moderate or major impact, twice as many Māori (14%) record their loss of access to te taiao has had a moderate or major impact (p. 63).
The second shock is that these poor data are despite the sampling being weighted towards Ngai Tahu Whanui, one of the most powerful and wealthy Iwi Authorities around. See the sampling data ...
I've posted before on the Mana Whenua/Nga Maata Waka demographics here in Canterbury. Here's a graph from the latest census...
So Ngai Tahu are around 42% of Greater Christchurch as against the 52-55% of the CERA sample (I'm not getting into the Waitaha/ Ngati Mamoe debate though I do think it informative that three respondents name these ancient iwi...). Yet still these ongoing negative wellbeing stats from CERA.
WTF as one might exclaim...
If I was to list a third remarkable thing it would be the continuing propaganda publication of how great everything was and is for Maori and others in Otautahi. If CERA is getting it soooo wrong... oh, is that a stray chicken walking around our lawn...
Jake: Gee, where did you get those muscles from? Bro, you've been lifting those weights, huh?
Jake: What, you've done lag? Am I right?
Thug: You want to fuck with me?
Jake beats thug
Jake: You should learn to pay your respects. In case you want to know, it's Jake... Jake the Muss.
Jake: I was right... too much weights, not enough speed work. Useless prick.
('Once Were Warriors, 1994)
I'm reminded of Mr. Muss' warning of too much weights, not enough speed work by a Radio NZ report on the strength of the Maori economy...
The Māori economy is doing well. It's estimated to have a shared wealth of $40 billion, with the biggest investments in the fishing, forestry and farming industries.
Yeah yeah, whateva.
The source of this is a financial firm TBD Advisory. In the words of Phil Barry
"Six of the seven iwi are doing really well in terms of their financial investments performance. Ngai Tahu and Ngati Whatua ki Orakei stand out in the last couple of years, but generally it's been a good solid performance."
My Barry has some self-interested advice:
"For any individual it's really important that they look at more independent advice around issues: what are their investment goals, what are their time horizons and what is their appetite for risk? So it will really be a question about tailoring that to each iwi's position."
And I don't disagree. The issue is the default use of Western frameworks for interpreting iwi (authority) 'success': it's a number. A number preceded by a dollar sign, associated with a number followed by a percentage sign which is how much you should 'grow'.
If this system worked, the West would be a marvelous refuge of wealth and stability, rich people would not feel scared (and hide behind barbed wire walls with armed security), and poor people wouldn't sit around the streets of the world's 'richest' cities asking for coins to feed themselves.
Dr. Shaun Awatere along with Craig Pauling talk about this in our video on Indigenous frameworks for managing collective assets:
"The challenge for Māori carrying out development is to determine how to balance the drivers of a neo-liberal economic approach with the very ideals and principles that define us as Māori to ensure quality social and environmental outcomes for future generations."
I've been reading a wide range of blogs this summer (such as Croaking Cassandra, linked in a previous post) and now am linking Salient Partners 'Epsilon Theory' which has focused on China, an important trading partner for the so-called Maori Economy.
The blog gives a nice line up of US pop culture quotes (lot of nods to The Godfather). This post n particular got me thinking... The Dude Abides. "...if you don’t recognize that the growing concentration of global wealth within a tiny set of families is a big problem and getting bigger worldwide, you’re just not paying attention. No country in the world is more vulnerable to the political problems caused by wealth inequality and concentration than China."
We talk of this inequality all the time now but Salient's point is that while in the US, inequality can be interpreted as the system working - individualistic self-interest in a capitalist system - in a communist one-party state, extreme inequality (China has always had a mass of peasants) is counter to State legitimacy.
I was musing on this in our own backyard, that is the increasing wealth concentration among the Maori elite (confession: I am in theory one of these elites, holding a PhD. Believe me, it ain't so w.r.t. income! I earn half what a good plumber can earn. And perhaps rightly so...).
The legitimacy of Maori elites is being undermined by the growing inequality that is a function of NZ neoliberal business models. (I would argue academics are not elites in NZ society in general although some Maori professors have some sway in Te Ao Maori, more so than their Pakeha peers). However, their situation is not one of survival as it is with Chinese elites where heads can and do roll, literally.
Here's a thesis: Maori elites are protected by Pakeha elites as they are a necessary barrier to restless Maori communities.
We get carrots from our own - 'Work hard, get an education, be like me', and we get sticks from Pakeha - 'If you don't work hard we'll punish you, if you don't go to school, we'll punish your parents, if you don't be like us, we'll mock you...'