MAORI PARTY SAY DPB PART OF THEIR CULTURE
Saturday, January 27, 2007
"It is astonishing to hear the Maori Party calling for work-for-the-dole to be made compulsory but refusing to confront what is, in fact, a much bigger problem for Maori. The DPB."
Welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell said today, "Co-leaders told the New Zealand Herald that action is needed to attack entrenched attitudes to state dependency but supporting sole parenting is part of their culture."
Mitchell responded,"Yet of the 90,000 Maori working-age beneficiaries only 17 percent are on the dole. The largest proportion, 45 percent, are on the DPB. "
"While being on a benefit is described as an 'unhealthy' experience by the Maori Party, being on the dole only directly affects the recipient. Being on the DPB affects the children, the next generation, and Maori tend to stay on it longest. Add to that, children raised on the DPB are more likely to be abused or neglected, suffer health problems and struggle educationally."
"In particular, overseas research has shown that mothers aged 17 and younger are twice as likely to have a child placed in fostercare, to be reported for child abuse or neglect, and to have a son sent to prison. The largest ethnic group of 16 and 17 year-olds on the DPB (EMA) are Maori."
"Paying babies to have babies, Maori and non-Maori, is the most pernicious aspect of our benefit system and must change. As the practice disproportionately involves their people, it isn't good enough for the Maori Party to say, it's OK because it's part of our culture."
"It also appears some traditional Maori sexism is being expressed. It is alright for Maori females to be dependent on the state but not Maori males. That attitude will only further encourage sole parenting and fatherless families."
"Maori, like non-Maori, should be aiming to be self-supporting and contributing New Zealanders."