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What 'Mapping Inequalities' Failed To Reveal

What 'Mapping Inequalities' Failed To Reveal

"Mapping Inequalities" was released yesterday by the Women's Affairs Minister, Laila Harre. It shows us that the outlook for Maori women is not good. It was no surprise to hear that they are more likely to be on the DPB. What wasn't mentioned and is even more disturbing, is that the percentage of Maori women on the DPB increases proportionately with each drop in age group. This means that the problem is rapidly worsening.

Add to this that the birth rate amongst DPB recipients is growing and that females with single parents are more likely to also become single parents, then we can see that the outlook for Maori women is even gloomier than the report suggests.

But this is the really scary thing. Inevitably the report asks, what can be done? This question is the necessary precursor to throwing more resources and funding at the problem, but what evidence exists that this has worked in the past? Most politicians, and certainly those who make up the current government, refuse to acknowledge that social policy is failing.

Ironically, it is a fact that any type of behaviour you reward you will get more of. As long as the government persists in handing out cash incentives for child-rearing they will aggravate the problem rather than resolve it.

Lindsay Mitchell

Petitioner for a Parliamentary Review of the DPB

ph/fx 04 562 7944

e-mail dandl.mitchell@clear.net.nz


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