Friday, February 08, 2019

Govt ignores own research

MSD monitors the effectiveness of its spending on employment assistance. The 2016/17 assessment has just been published.

"$149 million (72%) went on effective or promising employment assistance."

Not all of the spending is effective. Some results are "mixed" and some "negative".

But among the "effective and promising" interventions appears:

"Work obligation focused interventions: interventions that use work obligation requirements to ensure people are actively seeking employment."

In other words, sanctions. A failure to meet an obligation requires a consequence. Otherwise an obligation is meaningless.

In the year to December 2018, this government reduced the use of sanctions by 42.2 percent.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Brief comment on prison population

Based on the most recently available prison statistics the total muster is reducing. The PM says:

"We've seen about 1000 fewer people in our prisons, and so any work that we do on rehabilitation programmes ultimately does benefit Māori."
She must have more up-to-date stats than the public because the September 17 to September 18 reduction was only 418.

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says:

"...tribes from Ngāti Whātua right through to Ngāti Kuri are working with the department to reduce the prison population in the north and support people when they emerge from prison."
Yet in September 2018 there were 625 prisoners in Northland Region Corrections facility. A year earlier there were 607.

The government is fixated on the prison population.

But they are ignoring where it begins. Births into unstable, dare I say it, unmarried, dysfunctional family situations. I blogged yesterday about Maori accounting for 93% of the increase in births to the year ending September 2018. Around a 1,000 more were ex-nuptial and 300 fewer nuptial.

Marriages (with proven greater longevity than de facto relationships) might not last, but they at least say something about parental commitment at the time of birth. There is no doubt that these babies have significantly lower risks of eventually becoming prisoners.

Monday, February 04, 2019

Maori births account for 93% of year-on-year increase

Ever-interested in the behavioural response to 'incentives' I was looking at recent birth data. Labour promised and delivered greater financial benefits for newborns and families with dependent children.

It is probably too soon to assess any response to this, especially as the latest data available is to September 2018, not December.

In the year to September 2018 there were 59,331 live births. An increase of 837 on the previous year.

Not particularly significant.

However Maori live births rose to 17,118 from 16,341 - an increase of 777.

So of the total increase 93% were Maori.

17,118 is also the highest number of Maori live births since 2012.

The increase is almost totally accounted for by Maori mothers aged 25-34.