Thursday, June 04, 2020

A racist policy?

According to Work and Income:

If you or your partner have an uncleared warrant for criminal matters, you'll be told that unless it’s cleared, or you've taken reasonable steps to try and clear it, your benefit will either:
-stop, if you don't have dependent children, or
-reduce by up to half, if you have dependent children.
If it hasn’t been cleared within 28 days after its issued, you'll get a letter advising you to clear it within 10 working days. If you have an arrest warrant and the New Zealand Police considers you to be a risk to public safety, your benefit can be stopped or reduced immediately, without telling you first.
To clear your warrant to arrest you need to:
-go to the criminal counter at a courthouse. It’s best to go to the court where the warrant was issued, but it can be done at any courthouse. You can’t clear a warrant over the phone
-tell them you want to make a “voluntary appearance” to clear your warrant
-try to arrive early in the day. If you leave it too late you may not be able to clear the warrant that day.
-You can go to a police station to start the process of clearing your warrant if you can’t get to a court.
So the action to prevent a sanction lies wholly in the hands of the person receiving the benefit. Nobody else. And the actions required are laid out very clearly.

Here is an ethnic breakdown of sanctions on those with children. The 2019 stats are only up to June 2019.

Is this an illustration of a racist policy?

In the current climate many will say 'yes' because it disproportionately disadvantages Maori and their children regardless of the fact that the agency lies with the individual. The sanction is avoidable and you would think that with children involved, the motivation to do so would be strengthened. In fact the policy treats everybody the same.


Max Ritchie said...

To answer your question: no, this is NOT a racist policy. It is the rule of law. Interesting article in Newsroom this morning by an Auckland law school lecturer (sic) advocating the abolition of both the police and all prisons. Well paid to be an idiot. You couldn’t dream this stuff up.

alloytoo said...

I would say it's evidence of a treaty breach, but not by the crown.