Following on from yesterday's post in which I said that Americans may think their sole parent families are unique, but ours disprove that claim...
Why are Maori families like African American families?
That's probably worthy of a dissertation.
Around the 1930-50s both groups were predominantly poor but had citizenship entitlements, unlike other minority counterparts. At that time both US and NZ governments started to earnestly move money from the wealthier to the poorer via taxation. Mostly, the transfer was justified on the basis of 'needy' children.
Both ethnicities had large families. So payments per child could mount up. The sums may have seemed relatively small to middle class families, but for people coming from a paltry income base - Maori from subsistence and African Americans from the abiding legacy of slavery - the sums were meaningful.
From there it is all too easy to understand how the male of these two cultures became increasingly dispensable. The state would provide a steady and guaranteed income if he disappeared. His absence might sometimes be 'manufactured' but in the final analysis, his financial utility was deeply degraded. He had a heavy weight competitor in the government.
(And still some politicians want to continue and even increase these types of 'needy' children policies ignoring the damage that visits on the family structure which best supports those kids financially and emotionally.)