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Discrimination Against Maori & Pacific Kids In NZ

Easy Steps To Reduce Discrimination Against New Zealand Children – Why Haven’t They Been Taken?

Save the Children publishes a report into discrimination against Maori and Pacific Island children in New Zealand

An independent report, examining discrimination and difference amongst children in New Zealand, concludes that Maori and Pacific Island children are ‘discriminated against in a very real way’, and calls on the New Zealand government to reform statute law to reduce outcome differences.

The report Children’s Rights: Equal Rights is released today by Save the Children, on the anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) by 189 countries, the most widely ratified treaty ever. The New Zealand government signed the report in 1993, with three reservations relating to: child labour, immigration status and the detention of juveniles and adults in the same institution.

Save the Children calls for:
 the government to incorporate the CRC into statute law,
 the establishment of an independent body to monitor the compliance of current and new legislation with the CRC
 the Statistics Department to produce disaggregated statistics on children which would enable the level of poverty in New Zealand to be measured against that in other OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.
 the government to fund an alternative, aid agency report on New Zealand’s compliance with the CRC

“At a time when concern for children’s issues and for their future has never been higher, it is a national embarrassment for New Zealand to be dragging its heels on this universally accepted treaty,” said Save the Children’s executive director John Bowis.

“Embracing the principles of the UN Convention would make a strong statement about how we value our children. It makes a commitment to children, and is a fundamental step in reducing the disparity in futures which is the realty for New Zealand children.”

Discrimination against Maori and Pacific Island children is illustrated by the following facts noted in the report:
 Maori infants have an infant mortality rate 150 per cent higher than that of the general population
 School exclusions show a significant bias against Maori – while they make up 29 per cent of the school population, they constitute 40 to 46 per cent of students who are excluded
 45 per cent of Pacific Island children are in the lowest ten per cent of households (overall population) with the lowest income
 Household income for Maori families is $10,000 per annum less than for other families
 Youth suicide in New Zealand is already high at 22 per 100,000 but for Maori people it is more than double this at 56 per 100,000

We would like to acknowledge the work of Tamarapa Lloyd (Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Turmakina and Te Arawa, Nagati Whakaue) and Robert Ludbrook who researched and drafted the report.

Save the Children’s is the largest independent movement for children. We deliver immediate and lasting improvements to children’s lives worldwide.

Ends 20 November 2000

For a copy of the report or further information please contact:


John Bowis Executive Director
Phone 04 385 6847
After-hours 04 569 6911/ 021 656 320
Fax 04 385 6793

Ashlyn Hayes Communications and Education Co-ordinator
Phone 04 381 7573
After-hours 04 385 6028/ 021 137 6694
Fax 04 385 6793

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