Thursday, July 22, 2021

The stunning drop in women having children

No, it's not news but I thought I would update the chart to latest available. June's not up but here's to the end of March. Trends that happen so rapidly are quite fascinating. I wrote a paper about it here.

Total fertility rate is defined as "the average number of live births that a woman would have during her life if she experienced the age-specific rates of a given period (usually a year)."

The rate is 1.6 births at March end. I wonder how low it will go?

What prompted me to look for an update was Peter Willliams interviewing a woman  on Magic Talk today who advocates against loneliness, wants a Minister for Loneliness appointed even.

Shrinking families won't contribute to a reduction in loneliness. That's for sure.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Closing the gap - Maori on benefits

Here's a closing gap. Not sure it's quite the type envisaged by left-wing politicians.

According to population estimates there were 489,620 Maori aged 18-64 at June 2021.

128,877 on a benefit equates to 26.3 percent or over one in four.

36.3% of all beneficiaries are Maori. A percentage as high as it has ever been.

In the Maori electorates Labour enjoy strong support.

I don't know why.  Maori never fare very well under Labour governments. 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

More people on benefits than a year ago

 At the end of June 2021 there were more people on benefits than there were a year ago.

Yet MSD Minister Sepuloni is calling this good news.

In fact her release is headlined: 

Government Initiatives Contribute To Fall In Benefit Numbers

Including those on a Jobseeker benefit who are temporarily sick, the total number reliant has barely budged.

And numbers on a Sole Parent or Supported Living Payment (ex Invalid's) benefit have both risen.

This is a very poor result in a country that can't import labour - or in only a very limited capacity.

Update: It is surprising how media outlets accept the spin and turn out similar headlines to the Minister's. The important point being missed is that because of considerable seasonal variation in benefit numbers quarterly change has less significance than annual change. That is why MSD presents the numbers as year-to-year data.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Number of Maori children entering state care plummets

Oversight of Maori children at risk is being transferred to local and community efforts.

Regardless of our individual political and philosophical views I am sure we all hope it works for the children concerned.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Seymour's support building

 Seymour couldn't want for better publicity. According to NewstalkZB host, Jack Tame:

The pollsters say it’s unprecedented.

Act leader David Seymour is doing better in the latest Preferred Prime Minister rankings than the leader of our second biggest party. 

But I’m not surprised at all, because I think David Seymour is one of the best politicians in Parliament.

But not everyone is a fan. Here we have Lee Williams shouting at Seymour that he is a fraud. Why?

Because he isn't telling people about He Puapua apparently.

Go back to Jack Tame's piece momentarily which contains this statement:
" was his [Seymour's] probing in the house that opened up the He Puapua Pandora’s box.
I guess you can never please everyone.

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

OT beat-up continues

The RNZ beat-up of Oranga Tamariki continues.

The article opens with:

There have been 40 instances where Oranga Tamariki staff have physically harmed children in their care in the last two-and-a-half years....

Then further in: 

In the latest biannual report, for the six months to December 2020, there were 13 findings of physical harm against children where staff were responsible.

So how do these numbers stack up?

Only at the very end of the coverage do we learn:

The Safety of Children in Care reports showed that Oranga Tamariki staff were not the only people abusing children in care.All up, in the six months to December 2020, there were almost 300 instances of neglect, or emotional, sexual or physical abuse, affecting more than 200 children.

Here is the OT report referenced.

There were 13 findings of physical harm by staff alleged to have caused the harm. 8 children had 8 findings of physical harm within a residential placement. Some allegations against staff happened outside of residential placement and "for a small number of incidents, it was not possible to determine where the incident took place or who caused it." (Hence the variability of numbers)

But lets move on to the bigger picture. The first graph is PHYSICAL harm:

The second is ALL harm (which includes neglect, sexual and emotional) versus proportion of children/youth in each kind of placement:

The children at highest risk of being harmed are those in the return/remain home placement. Least likely are those in a family placement.

Children with findings of harm living in residential placements (4%) was representative of the overall numbers of children in this placement type (4%).

Given the nature of these troubled children and youth, the instances of harm caused by staff do not seem remarkable.

Friday, July 02, 2021

Professor Elizabeth Rata asks, Ethno-Nationalism or Democratic-Nationalism?

 Highly recommended:

With the sudden emergence into our political life of the revolutionary report He Puapua, it is clear New Zealanders are at a crossroads. We will have to decide whether we want our future to be that of an ethno-nationalist state or a democratic-nationalist one.

Ethno-nationalism has political categories based on racial classification - the belief that our fundamental identity (personal, social and political) is fixed in our ancestry. Here the past determines the future. Identity, too, is fixed in that past. In contrast, democratic-nationalism has one political category - that of citizenship - justified by the shared belief in a universal human identity.

These two opposing approaches to how the nation is imagined, constituted and governed are currently in contention. We will have to choose which form of nationalism will characterise New Zealand by 2040.

More at Newshub 

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Fees-free GP visits and children still miss out

 New research from the Growing Up in New Zealand study finds Maori and Pacific children are disproportionately missing out on healthcare despite GP visits being free. 


• Despite the zero-fees policy, some young children do not see a GP when in need due to cost. Primary health organisations should ensure that all children who present for care are enrolled with a practice to ensure eligibility for free GP visits.

National brought in a policy that required young mothers to enrol their child with a GP as a condition of receiving a benefit but the policy was never enforced. Now it's the PHO's fault.

• Policy action is needed to address the barriers to accessing GP care for Māori and Pacific children, beyond focusing on cost. For example, the location of primary health care services and possibilities of outreach and/or mobile services could be considered, so that lack of transport is not a barrier to families.

So it is not enough to subsidise doctor visits 100 percent. Parents need transporting to the medical centre door. One would think when a child is sick a friend or family member would be available to help with transport, or heaven forbid, they got on a bus.

• Changes to the health system, and future health policy, must align with contemporary interpretations of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, to ensure that health equity becomes a reality for Māori. 

You could be excused for thinking that a recommendation of Treaty compliance is now compulsory when government funding is provided.

It must be there for a reason because it sure as hell doesn't offer anything useful.