Following hard on the back of Tariana's apologism for gangs comes this from Pita Sharples. What a disappointment. He's been hanging around sad sacks too much. Here is part of a speech he delivered in Parliament today. He must be weary. Yes, Maori lost land unfairly. Yes, Maori should have been able to test customary rights to the seabed and foreshore in court. But rehashing is not what his people need right now;
Nowhere in this Bill does it do anything to look at the broader structural problems, the problems which for well over a century our Maori leaders have identified as undermining our tikanga, our thinking and endangering our life force.
And yes, I am referring to the colonial policies of land thefts and the appropriation of resources - for we can never forget this context in any debate on Maori welfare dependency; a context which the Foreshore and Seabed Act proved is also a 'this' century context.
There is little or no analysis of why it is that numbers of people on sickness and invalid benefits have increased in the first place.
We know that the numbers of New Zealanders in these two categories of benefits has risen, sharply, to 124,000.
The Minister confirmed in March this year, that there has been a transfer of 8.5% of people from the unemployment benefit to the sickness benefit.
The Child Poverty Action Group has explained the increase of numbers of people on sickness and invalids benefits as being part of a broader cycle throughout OECD Nations. They see it as:
The “cyclical feedback loop of poverty – the more people there are in poverty, the more people there are who get sick”.
We must talk real in this House. This Bill, does nothing to address the disproportionate and ongoing unemployment of Maori.
This Bill does nothing to put a halt to the spiralling storms of cynicism, apathy, anger, and despondency that beset too many of our communities.
This Bill does not address the trauma of the working poor, the tragedy of unrealised potential; the desperation of inadequate housing; the morbid consequences of escalating levels of crime.
This Bill continues to paint the proposition that the beneficiaries are victims of their own making.
It ignores the deep, underlying systemic causes of poverty; and of vast disparities. Issues such as institutional racism.
25 minutes ago