Friday, February 22, 2008


Murupara College is apparently plagued by violence, drug use and abuse of teachers and students.

Now, whenever left-wing politicians and other various advocates talk about the issue of family violence they always drop in the obligatory, "Family violence is not unique to any one community. It happens across all cultures and social classes." Strictly speaking that may be true but the statement should be qualified with, "...but it predominates among poor, brown, incomplete families."

We know that the issues affecting the home, violence and drug/alcohol abuse, spill over into the schools and community. So let's have a look at what else is going on in Murupara.

38.1 percent of people in Murupara were under the age of 15 years, compared with 27.2 percent in Whakatane District and 22.7 percent for all of New Zealand.

It is a very young population.

23.8 percent of people in Murupara said they belong to the European ethnic group, compared with 67.0 percent for Whakatane District and 80.1 percent for all of New Zealand.

Almost 90 percent say they belong to the Maori ethnic group (explained by identifying with more than one group.)

The median income of people in Murupara is $11,900, compared with $15,900 for Whakatane District and $18,500 for all of New Zealand.The total average annual spending for households in Murupara was $30,529 compared with $38,351 for households in Whakatane District and $43,682 for the whole of New Zealand.

They are relatively poor. The school is decile one. The poorest.

And finally the most common family type is one parent with children at 43.3% of all families compared to a national average of 18.9 percent.

Murupara is just one of many small North Island towns with a similar profile and no doubt similar problems. Their lifeblood is welfare. They are a bit like gangs. Sure there are other sources of income but these are sporadic. The regular "pay" comes from Work and Income. And probably a good number of the men are shacked up with the women who identify as single parents and depend on the DPB.

That's just the way it is.

NB The stats are from Census 2001. Between 2001 and 2006 the population of the district was pretty much static. I would be surprised if there was significant change in Murupara.


Anonymous said...

"The median income of people in Murupara is $11,900, compared with $15,900 for Whakatane District and $18,500 for all of New Zealand.The total average annual spending for households in Murupara was $30,529 compared with $38,351 for households in Whakatane District and $43,682 for the whole of New Zealand."

The difference in household incomes probably matches the comparative cost of living in each scenario.
The scary bit is the difference between median incomes and household spending.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

You have to remember that a household has more than one income. The median income will probably be that of persons aged 15 and over.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Lindsay, I did not overlook that.
Two median incomes per household still leaves a shortfall in each statistic.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

You have a point. The household spending stats come from a different source - the Household Expenditure Survey. Not the Census. But as the HES only surveys 3,000 households I fail to see how they can know about Murupara households specifically. It must be by some process of extrapolation. The mysterious ways in which statisticians gather and present information is beyond me.

One thing to take into account regarding stated income;

"There are high levels of non-response for this variable for some ethnic groups, age groups and regions which could lead to bias.
Non-response to the income question particularly affects the $10,001 - $15,000 income bracket
The high levels of non-response will affect counts, averages and medians."

Although debt is a rising problem the gap is probably more to do with understating income. As I said in the post there will be individuals who shouldn't be resident in benefit-reliant homes, let alone declaring income from other sources.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes you have to wonder how useful statistics are.
I know self-employed people who put the same answers in every year because gathering the information required is too time consuming.
The non-response to the income question may be self-cancelling at both ends of the range.
Household spending would include black market income, cash jobs which are commonplace amongst tradesmen and others where a receipt is not required.

Anonymous said...

Ahem! Murupara is justly famous for it's "informal" economy.


Anonymous said...

Eah u fuckn kunts stop fukn tawlkn abowt tha fukn Tribesmen kunts yous r jst all shet yous knw nothing abowt dehm fukn giv u ah hiding if you say ane mre stuff abowt dem arseholes

Anonymous said...

eah da tribesman r jst str8 gangsta bei


Anonymous said...

Tribesmen r kewl and gangsta u shets daht sae stuff abowt dehm r fukn all shet. u shets bags knw nofinq abowt dehm GO ON! SHET FACE MOTHA FARHKR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shanley and Kendyl H

Anonymous said...

eah go on who eva sats stuff bowt dem tribesmen ur gay da the shit go on u vfukn fat heds tribesmen and yellow all da way ko a.o killa beez put ur yellow colours on
colour way records/tribesmen all da ways koe


Anonymous said...

huw evas a mongrel mob ur so gay be yellow all da way dats how we role yellow all da wae ko


Anonymous said...

ayo killa beez put ur yellow colourz all da wae koee just neva wea red str8 up yellow ko

reds da gayest kula of all ko fukn tribesmen


Anonymous said...

i fink da triibzmen r da best gang in da wrlld nigaa and who0 eva do0nt ur so gay

ayo0 kiila be3z


Anonymous said...

ayo tribesmen murupara waht ubb

Anonymous said...

ayo kendyl ghee &&& tala ghee from murupara

Anonymous said...

Anonymous says: What's up with the comedy act? I was enjoying the read until you two busted in. Actually, whatever the rate of income and spending here in Murupara, benefits remain the life blood, thank goodness the access to KFC, MCD's and $2 Shops are nil so that alleviates some spending and minimises crime. The kids are okay, just bored and the gangs are no better, an adult version of the kids really. One thing they still have compared to townie kids is a respect of kaumatua, and marae. I like that

Heather C said...

Well, this was a few years ago - and things are changing. The gang problem is much less, thanks to the iwi-led initiative banning the wearing of colours in parts of the town and on all maraes. People have found the inordinately cheap land and home prices enticing and we are just one couple of several who have bought up out here after selling up in the city and are now living - very happily - here in the past six months. That looks set to continue and as the town seems to be set to look to reinvent itself, it's no bad thing.