Just over two weeks ago Labour were talking up a Ministry of Social Development report that showed the gap between rich and poor is shrinking (what else would you expect when more attention is paid to dividing up the pie than growing it?) Trevor Mallard turned up at a meeting waving a chart from said report and Ruth Dyson waxed lyrical.
This week a further report has been released which contains some good news but plenty of not so good. The media seem to have missed it. Perhaps Simon Collins is away.
The not-so-good news pertains largely to young Maori. According to the report;
The teenage birth rate for Maori fell by 26 percent between 1997 and 2002 before increasing by a similar amount between 2002 and 2007.
Just over half of all women who have children in their teens are Maori.
There has been a slight fall in the proportion of Maori staying on at school to the age of 17.5 years since the early 90s
Truancy rates increased for all ethnic groups between 2004 and 2006. The largest growth occurred for Māori students, with an increase of 17 percent in the percentage of unjustified absences. [The Maori truancy rate is more than 4 times the NZ European rate.]
Young Mäori are also over-represented in youth justice statistics, accounting for almost half of all police apprehensions of 14–16 year olds and over half of all cases proved in the Youth Court involving 14–16 year olds.
Road deaths for Mäori under the age of 25 increased between 2001 and 2005. By comparison with the total population under 25 years, young Mäori are at greater risk of dying from assault, unintentional injury and motor vehicle accidents.
The Maori youth suicide rate which, after falling between the periods 1996–1998 and 1999–2001, increased by nearly as much in the years up to 2003–2005.
Maori secondary school students were almost 4 times more likely to witness adult violence in the home than NZ European.
I do not need to spell out the implications of all the above. There is a group of young Maori who are living under-achieving, unproductive and often unhappy lives. The group out of which most crime emanates is growing.
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