I am a little perturbed by this front page story from today's DomPost.
Pacific Islanders' crime rates, poor education and low employment are creating an underclass and a drain on the economy, a study says.
Issued last week, the document says Polynesians are less productive and less likely to contribute to economic growth. They have the highest unemployment in every age group....
Not according to the Household Labour Force Survey. Maori have slightly higher rates.
Polynesians are over-represented in crime statistics and have higher rates of convictions and prosecutions.
Assuming Polynesians continues to mean Pacific Islanders, their crime rates are not especially high. In fact the article later disputes this saying,
Statistics NZ crime figures show Pacific Islanders made up 9100 of 112,774 people convicted in 2006 - just over 8 per cent.
8 percent is pretty much in keeping with their share of the population remembering that they are a young population and the age group that most commits crime is around 18-25.
Yes. Pacific rates of imprisonment are higher than European but considerably lower than Maori.
They are more likely to need Government assistance for housing and income.
More likely than who? Of those working age New Zealanders currently receiving a benefit 7.6 are Pacific. Again in keeping with their proportion of the overall population. (Maori on the other hand make-up 31.5 percent).
I would be the first to defend a researchers right to publish an ethnicity study without being subjectively attacked but on the basis of what has been reported I can understand why Pacific communities are angry about the focus on their people as producing an underclass.
AND, as with Maori, it must always be appreciated that many Pacific people are doing jobs that, although not well paid, are crucial to the functioning of our institutions.
UPDATE: Having listened to an interview with the study author I understand that the research is about different immigrant groups and their contribution to economic growth. But now I am even more concerned because the statistics are about ALL PI people, 60 percent of whom are not immigrants. He clearly believes that PI people are a drain and will become a bigger drain on social welfare but when asked specifically about those figures couldn't respond. His conclusion is that more PI immigrants should not be encouraged until the problems are sorted. They shouldn't be taking jobs off other low skilled people like Maori.
Why not? If they are more willing, if they have a work ethic, why not welcome them?
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