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


Maori criminal offending is a Maori problem

Maori criminal offending is a Maori problem – and only they can fix it

17th April 2017

Lately Uncle Tom Cobley and all have opined about the causes of the high rate of Maori criminal recidivism. The Waitangi Tribunal says it’s the government’s fault. The Maori Party says it’s down to “institutional racism”. A retired Maori probation officer says it’s the fault of the Corrections Department. Sensible Sentencing says that is all nonsense.

“Firstly, such claims are an insult to the many thousands of Maori families who realize that the key to their kids’ advancement in life is education, and who do everything to encourage their children to attain the skills necessary to live a good productive and law abiding life in the modern world” said Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar.

“We have had a free secular education system to High School level for every New Zealander for going on eighty years. Maori, along with white children and others of the many races now making up New Zealand, all start equally in the school system at age five. As soon as five years later, but certainly by High School, there are stark differences – most Asian children achieving well above the average, many Maori children well below” McVicar says.

“Why is that? It can’t be language – Maori children are now invariably brought up with English as their first language, whereas Asian children may struggle to learn in English at first. I simply do not accept that there is any ‘institutional racism’ in our school system – except perhaps some positive discrimination in favour of Maori Children in an effort to help them achieve” said McVicar.

“Let’s face up to reality: Asian children achieve much better on average than their European and Maori classmates because Asian families greatly value educational achievement. Sadly, in many Maori homes, trying to succeed at school is derided as ‘acting white’ and actively discouraged. Kids leaving school – whatever their race – with poor levels of attainment are going to struggle…that is a reality. And sadly more Maori kids leave school without qualifications than other kids. That’s where the problems start” McVicar says.

“While kids of all races join gangs, again the reality is that most of the youth gangs are Maori or Polynesian rather than white or Asian. According to the Maori Party, such gangs are just another form of whanau, and that’s why kids join. Well, if the Mongrel Mob “whanau” is better than any prospect member’s actual whanau, whose fault is that? We say it’s not the government’s or the Police’s or the courts’ – it is the parents.”

“Some Maori blame Corrections – just exactly what are they supposed to do with inmates whose values are those of the gang, and who sneer and laugh at the values of ordinary members of society? Corrections staff are not miracle workers, and sadly by the time an adult gang member first comes to prison it is probably too late” said McVicar.

“Maori leaders are always telling us that non Maori should keep out of Maori issues; that they know best how to deal with their own people. Well, seven years after the latest miracle programme Whanau Ora was introduced, Maori achievement rates are no better than they were, and if anything, gang membership and imprisonment rates have got worse, not better”

“Maori need to stop blaming everyone and everything but themselves for Maori failure and start taking a long hard analytical look at themselves - and at Maori role models, there is no shortage of them. It may be that the message of people like author Alan Duff is one many Maori leaders don’t want to hear…if so that is a tragedy, and Maori children will continue to find themselves at the bottom of the economic heap, and in prison.” ENDS

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Human Rights Commission: Urgent Need For Action On Seclusion And Restraint

A new independent report has outlined a number of serious concerns about New Zealand’s seclusion and restraint practices, says the Human Rights Commission...

Chief Human Rights Commissioner David Rutherford says that while the report makes for sobering reading, the focus should now be on how the recommendations can be used to reduce the occurrence of seclusion and restraint in New Zealand and, in circumstances where it is necessary, to improve practices. More>>


$11bn Capital Spend, New Debt Target: Steven Joyce On Budget Priorities

First, delivering better public services for a growing country – providing all New Zealanders with the opportunity to lead successful independent lives... And finally, we remain committed to reducing the tax burden and in particular the impact of marginal tax rates on lower and middle income earners, when we have the room to do so. More>>


JustSpeak Report: Bail Changes To Blame For New Billion Dollar Prison

In 2013 criminal justice spending was falling and the Government was mulling over what to spend the money on. 3 years later there are 10,000 people in prison and a new billion dollar prison is announced. More>>


Asylum: Dunne Accepts Hundreds Of Postcards On Refugee Categories

Minister Peter Dunne today accepted over 800 postcards calling for convention refugees to have the same entitlements as quota refugees... The campaign has been run with ActionStation together with LUSH Cosmetics, with postcards being signed in stores around New Zealand. More>>


Reshuffle: PM Announces Changes To Ministerial Portfolios

Prime Minister Bill English today announced the appointment of Gerry Brownlee as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nathan Guy as Minister of Civil Defence, Nikki Kaye as Minister of Education and Mark Mitchell as Minister of Defence. More>>


Q+A Transcript: CTU Call For 'National Standards' On Wages

‘If you look at countries who do better than us, who pay wages better, who have more competitive industries, more successful economies, they have systems where there are national standards.’ More>>


Energy: Greens Launch Plan For Cheaper And Cleaner Electricity

$112 million for winter warm-up payments to help low-income households cover their power bills • setting a goal for 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 (in average hydrological conditions) • an investigation into the electricity wholesale market. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news