Saturday, May 11, 2024

Time for some perspective

A lack of perspective can make something quite large or important seem small or irrelevant.

Against a backdrop of high-profile, negative statistics it is easy to overlook the positive.

For instance, the fact that 64 percent of Maori are employed is rarely reported. For context, the employment rate for all New Zealanders is 68.4%. The difference isn’t vast.

In excess of 400,000 Maori have jobs, provide products and services and pay tax.

Maori are over-represented in the manufacturing, and utilities and construction workforces. They are disproportionately service workers, labourers and machine operators. As such they perform crucial roles.

97 percent of Maori aged 15 or older are not in prison or serving a community sentence or order. Over 99 percent of Maori are not gang members.

Yet as an ethnic group Maori take a lot of heat.

Their pockets of failure (which occur across all ethnicities) overshadow their success because it suits certain political aspirants to promote the negative. The predominant individualist culture wants Maori to get their act together and exercise greater personal responsibility. While the collectivists want the community to take the blame for Maori failure and fix it via redress. The finger-pointing at colonists as the culprits, which has ramped up immeasurably over recent years, has resulted in a great deal of misdirected anger towards Maori, the bulk of whom just want to get on with their lives. (To boot, this simplistic description ignores that since the early 1800s Maori and non-Maori have become indelibly interlinked by blood and it has become impossible to identify which finger is pointing in which direction, such is the absurdity of modern-day racial politics.)

It feels safe to say that most people want to live peaceful, happy and productive lives. We share those basic desires regardless of race. It’s that commonality that makes race irrelevant.

And yet New Zealanders are being increasingly divided, forced to take sides, to figuratively identify with black or white when life is mainly grey. Without some measure of compromise, contradiction and capitulation society couldn’t exist.

The flipside to poor Maori statistics reminds us that as contributing members of New Zealand we have far more in common than ever divides us.



References

EMPLOYMENT

https://www.stats.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Labour-market-statistics/Labour-market-statistics-March-2024-quarter/Download-data/household-labour-force-survey-march-2024-quarter.xlsx

https://www.mbie.govt.nz/business-and-employment/employment-and-skills/employment-strategy/maori-employment-action-plan/annexes/overview-of-maori-employment-outcomes-in-aotearoa-new-zealand

IMPRISONMENT

https://www.corrections.govt.nz/resources/statistics/quarterly_prison_statistics/prison_facts_and_statistics_-_march_2024

COMMUNITY SENTENCES AND ORDERS

https://www.corrections.govt.nz/resources/statistics/community_sentences_and_orders/community-based_sentence_and_order_facts_and_statistics_-_march_2024

GANGS

https://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-NZ/WQ_15227_2023/8a9747c39eaa9a19cc720513355ac43e285d5b95

https://www.corrections.govt.nz/resources/statistics/corrections-volumes-report/past-census-of-prison-inmates-and-home-detainees/census-of-prison-inmates-and-home-detainees-2003/6-gang-membership/6.1-gang-membership



1 comment:

Ben Waimata said...

Excellent! Well said as always Lindsay, the polarisation has gone far too far, we're all NZ citizens and the attempts to divide us for political advantage need to end.