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Spay the Rich and Free the Poor

MANA Leader Hone Harawira

7 June 2012

Spay the Rich and Free the Poor

“Last week Paula Bennett talked to Michael Laws about sterilising poor women, but this week she says she’s dropped the idea?” asks MANA Leader Hone Harawira. “Does she think she can casually drop the issue of sterilisation into the national conversation and then just take it off the table again?”

“Paula Bennett is the Minister of Social Development and the issues she raises are rightly seen as representing the view of the government.

“That’s why all this has such a scary ring to it,” says Harawira, “because it represents the formal government position on childbirth and sterilisation”.

“First she spouts off about who should be allowed to have kids and who shouldn’t. Then she talks about young mums having to take the pill while on the DPB. Then she throws in the idea about court orders to stop women from getting pregnant. And then she raises the notion of sterilisation”.

Harawira said Bennett was treading on very dangerous ground and that National had no right to deal with human rights in such a cavalier way.

“Her whole attack is against beneficiaries and those living on the margins, many of whom are Maori like herself” said Harawira. “But notice how she doesn’t suggest sterilisation for those who have destroyed the lives of thousands of New Zealanders and cost the country billions of dollars - probably because white collar crime is carried out mainly by rich white people, most of whom vote National”.

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“If government was serious about reducing crime, they’d attack the symptoms of crime rather than the victims. They would create jobs and increase community stability, reduce class sizes and enhance learning, reduce health costs and build a healthy population...and pay for it all by taxing those who pay no tax on financial speculation.”

“Paula Bennett’s comments represent a very dark and nasty shift in National’s thinking. These attacks on the poor and the defenceless must end.”


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