Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Maori Teenage Birthrate Climbs Under Labour Policy

Media Release
Maori Teenage Birthrate Climbs Under Labour's Policy
Friday, September 19, 2008

The Maori teenage birthrate fell by 26 percent between 1997 and 2002 before increasing by a similar amount between 2002 and 2007 according to a report released by the Ministry of Social Development this week.

Welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell noted the coincidence between the trends which occurred during changes in social policy.

"Between 1997 and 2002 the message being sent about the DPB was greater personal responsibility; once the youngest child was 6 the mother would be work-tested. Work-testing was introduced by National in early 1999 but removed by Labour in 2002. Labour decided to put more emphasis on encouraging a move to work through enhanced case management but removed any firm requirement."

Children born to very young mothers have lives often characterised by low birth weight, health and learning difficulties, poverty, transience and exposure to multiple 'step-fathers'. Their mothers lack of eduction and skills tends to be passed on. Over half of all women who have babies as teenagers are Maori. Most go on welfare. It would appear that under Labour's policy the trend in Maori teenage birth rate, which had been reducing, has reversed. The easy and open-ended availability of the DPB is very likely a factor. For many welfare is not a safety net. Welfare has become a lifestyle choice.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On DHB Deficits And Free Trade

Currently the world is looking on aghast at the Trump administration’s plans to slash Obamacare, mainly in order to finance massive tax changes that will deliver most of their gains to the wealthy. Lives will be lost in the trade-off. Millions of Americans stand to lose access to the healthcare they need.

Spot the difference with New Zealand, where DHBs are under intense pressure to reduce deficits within a climate of chronic underfunding. More>>


Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“...The grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them.” More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>


Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>


Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election