Thursday, July 09, 2015

"Making headway on inequality"

Yesterday Max Rashbrooke, campaigner against inequality had a column published in the DomPost.

In a system where income goes disproportionately to the already well-off, ordinary workers are missing out on the rewards of their efforts, to the tune of billions of dollars a year. Welfare benefits, cut by a quarter in 1991 and increased just 8 per cent in the last budget, are far too low to meet people's basic needs.
The result is a doubling of child poverty and the return of childhood diseases unknown in most developed countries – a national embarrassment, as one researcher described it. Our cold, damp homes can be death traps, as a recent child fatality tragically showed. Our still-excellent schools are buckling under the pressures of dealing with children whose parents can't afford to buy them warm clothing, feed them breakfast, or provide a quiet space for studying.

I briefly considered challenging the claim that child poverty had doubled using different statistics but to be fair to Rashbrooke by the definition he used, the claim is accurate enough. So I decided to take a different tack:


Peter Cresswell said...

Nicely done, Lindsay.

Chuck Bird said...

Hi Lindsay, I heard Leighton Smith read out your email this morning about child deaths broken down by Maori and non Maori.

Would you have a link to the source please?

It appears that more European children are killed in absolute terms but the Maori rate is about double the non Maori rate. This of course is not good but not near as disproportionate as some would have us believe.


Lindsay Mitchell said...

Hi Chuck, here's the email (with a link to the first quote added):


From the "Child Death from Maltreatment" A review of incidence in New Zealand: 2006, Ministry of Health:

"Maori children are more exposed to the risk of fatal child maltreatment associated with having a stepparent, as Maori children are twice as likely as NZ European and other children to be raised in a blended family. However, the small numbers and volatility of child death statistics means even more caution is needed when dis-aggregating the data by ethnic groups. With this in mind, in the five years from 1999 to 2003, Maori children died from maltreatment at an average annual rate of 1.5 per 100,000 children. Over the same period, New Zealand European and other children died at an average annual rate of 0.7 per 100,000."

Also from the Office Of the Children's Commissioner:

In New Zealand Maori ethnicity is a static risk factor associated with a sixfold increase in risk of serious injury or death from assault for male children and a threefold increase in risk for female children.

(The next is much longer but addresses the source of a previous caller's claim that most children killed were European. It was put about by Cindy Kiro but when I questioned her stats under the OIA she denied she was the source. It's a bit long-winded.

Chuck Bird said...

Thanks for that Lindsay. This issue is being debated on Kiwiblog.

In regards Cindy Kiro she would be correct in absolute terms that more children are killed by European than Maori but the rate for Maori is about double that of European.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Chuck, the Kiro quote was, "But out of 88 children killed between 2002 and 2006, 48 were Pakeha. Maori were 28. The remainder were Pacific Island and a few Asian."

IT WAS WRONG. I will blog the actual stats now that I have them.

Chuck Bird said...

Thanks Lindsay. Your link did not work at first but I got it to work by putting www in front.