Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lumping Maori and Pacific people together

It is often the case that people quoting statistics will lump Maori and Pacific people together. I was guilty of doing the same thing when I first began researching welfare.

The practice often does a disservice to Pacific people. It has intrigued me for some time that Pacific people are not over-represented in the welfare dependence statistics to the degree that Maori are. And on combined sickness and invalid benefits, not at all.

For instance, currently the Pacific unemployment rate is slightly higher than Maori. But their share of unemployment benefit is 10.6 percent whereas for Maori it stands at 32.8 percent.

So why is this? I can only speculate but primarily I believe it is because the Pacific family is stronger and the family is a source of support. Religious institutions also play a part in providing services. Perhaps too Pacific unemployment is shorter term hence the opportunity or need to go on the dole is lesser.

Another important reason Pacific people are more independent is that they are not in grievance mode. They see life in New Zealand as offering opportunities whereas some Maori, including Maori leadership, are more concerned with blame, resentment and languishing.

Here are the percentages of total caseload for each benefit (followed by Maori). The population shares are lower than total population shares as Pacific and Maori both have very young populations;

18-64 year-old population share 5.5 (12.5)

Unemployment 10.6 (32.8)
DPB 10 (41.4)
Sickness 6.3 (21.7)
Invalid 4.8 (21.5)
All main benefits 8.1 (31.5)

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The other thing I heard recently was that PI were far less likely to bash their kids to the point of hospitalisation or death. I'm not sure if that was correct or not.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Part of the reason is the PI churches work very hard to find jobs for their people.

Mark.V. said...

PI are also more willing to work long hard hours at the more unpleasant jobs, such as commercial cleaning.

Lindsay said...

Maori and Pacific children are more likely to hospitalised for intentional injury but I haven't seen a statistical breakdown between the two groups. I can tell you that of care and protection notifications pertaining to children aged up to 13 and requiring further action during 2006 (37,930) Maori made up 44 percent and Pacific 12. Of children in CYF Family Homes during 2006 51 percent were Maori, 6.8 were Pacific; children in fostercare, 49 percent Maori, 7 percent Pacific.

Anonymous said...

being a foreigner to New Zealand I can see that Maori people and Pacific people are very different, so in classing the two together is degrading the pacific Islanders not that Maori aren't of a lower class. The reason why the Pacific have a lower percentage is because they have family ties that are strong whether it be church family or immediate, Pacific children are very respectful to their elders and thatg may be why there are a lower percentage of them being hospitalized.