Why do Maori constantly excuse the abuse of children?

Michael Laws points out that both the Maori party and the Green party, via Tariana Turia and Metiria Turei seem to be opposing Paula Bennett’s welfare reforms against abusers by saying that these new rules disadvantage Maori.

Sadly, but unsurprisingly, it is two Maori women who are leading the resistance to Bennett’s overdue toughness – associate health minister Tariana Turia and Greens co-leader Metiria Turei. Their argument is that Maori parents will unduly suffer and Turei raises the additional spectre of Aboriginal adoption. In fact, Turei goes further than that. More Maori parents abuse their kids because they are poor, she contends. If we removed “poverty”, she contends, “we’d remove a huge stressor on families that is connected to increased rates of child maltreatment and neglect”.

Yep, if you’re on welfare – or poorly paid – then abusing your kids is a natural response. 

Maori parents will not unduly suffer because they are poor, they will unduly suffer because Maori disproportionately abuse their child more than other races.

Maori parents bashing their kids isn’t anyones problem except their own. Until Maori leaders stop being apologists and enablers and start proving meaningful solution to the plague that besets their society then people aren’t going to listen to them.

Which is bollocks. Abusing your kids is a deeply unnatural and sick response, and most parents on benefits or the minimum wage, don’t abuse their children.

Turia and Turei then profess discomfort that Maori children might under this new policy, end up being raised by non-Maori families.

So what? If placing the child back into the same whanau who produced the abusive parents or caregiver is the answer, then the answer is stupid. Placing the child where they will be best cared for must be the only measure. And if that’s a middle-class Pakeha family in the white bread wilds of Karori or Kohimarama then, lucky kid.

Very lucky kid.

It will always be preferable for a child to be raised by responsible “strangers”, as Turei calls them, than by feral whanau.

Fortunately, other Maori leaders recognise there is a particular problem in Maoridom in regards to child abuse, and iwi partnerships with government agencies are evolving to address that. But those are medium and long-term strategies – as you read this, right now, Kiwi kids are being bashed, abused and neglected.

They are being physically and psychologically maimed by families and whanau who neither parent nor care. Because they are incapable of raising kids – possessing neither empathy, nor IQ, nor temperament – their right to breed and break must be curtailed now.


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  • steve and monique

    Because they would rather blame everyone else,and there is no money in it.

    • Mr_Blobby

      Its all about the Money.

      • steve and monique

        Seems to be a large motivation. Maybe we should cut off the money till the shit is sorted out.

        • Tom

          100% correct. Turn the money off and see how the poverty stricken then get their shit together super quick.

          • steve and monique

            Problem is it wont stop the mongrels bashing their kids

  • Col

    If your white it is take away, if your Maori that’s ok the family down at the pub will help, bloody poor, they have no fuckin idea what that word means, take them out of the comfort zone. Problem is they don’t want to work to get on, because people like Hone tell them YOU ARE POOR HOLD YOUR HANDOUT. If you keep being told something over and over again you will believe it, right.

  • Harvey Wilson

    George W once said “You’re either with us or against us”.

    There is no middle ground with this issue. You either want an end to child abuse or you don’t.

    Tariana Turia and Metiria Turei need to have a close look at themselves and their whanau if they think this issue doesn’t need drastic attention. Shame on you both for attempting to politicise your ignorance (or outright denial) of the facts.

    • Mr_Blobby

      The problem is that there idea to fix the problem have not worked in the past and have no hope of succeeding in the future.

      Something about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

  • Macca

    ‘Hey honey, quick, I’ve blown all our benny on piss smokes and drugs. Where’s one of the kids so I can beat it to death’!

    Sorry, I know that’s really calaus but I mean seriously, what planet are these people on!?

    • Mr_Blobby

      Victims of Hatefields racist inbreeding program.

    • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

      Planet lefty.

  • drummerboy

    poverty doesn’t cause child abuse. The greens just say that to try and convince sympathetic people to vote for them and support their Marxist agenda.

    • Hazards001

      Exactly, I grew up dirt poor and was never beaten…apart from the odd time when I bloody well deserved it of course.
      My kids aren’t living a life of gay abandon either and they aren’t beaten by their mother or her partner. (Mind you I don’t live so far away, a phone call from the kids would be a disincentive to some c*nt beating on them)

  • mark

    The fucked up thing is that if someone was abusing an animal like a dog that they owned, I bet the two brown moles would say they should not be allowed to own a pet, but children well that’s a different story.

  • Hazards001

    Could probably link this post to the one two below it without too much of a stretch of the imagination.

  • Rex Widerstrom

    In his constant pandering to his ever-shrinking redneck audience Laws takes a real issue – the disproportionate representation of Maori amongst child abuse statistics – and throws in his usual ill-informed prejudice which, if it becomes accepted as fact, will actually prevent solutions being reached which will save the children he professes to give a damn about.

    More Maori parents abuse their kids because they are poor, she contends. If we removed “poverty”, she contends, “we’d remove a huge stressor on families that is connected to increased rates of child maltreatment and neglect”.

    Yep, if you’re on welfare – or poorly paid – then abusing your kids is a natural response.

    Actually, yes. The Centre for Independent Studies (about as far from a bunch of soft-on-crime lefties as you could hope to find) noted in their 2013 monograph “Panacea to prison? Justice reinvestment in Indigenous communities that:

    Zero employment among 35% of the Aboriginal population plays a critical role in the high rates of Indigenous incarceration, with unemployed Indigenous people 20 times more likely to be imprisoned than employed Indigenous people. In fact, unemployment has been found to be a greater risk factor for offending than Indigenous status.

    No work and little money contribute to the committing of offences by any group regardless of race. A disproportionate level of idleness among Maori / Aborigines therefore means a higher rate of offending among those groups.

    The CIS concludes that:

    Education and employment may not sound as novel or exciting as Justice Reinvestment, but evidence shows they play a critical role in the high Indigenous incarceration rate.

    I’m not of course saying this is the only cause of child abuse, amongst Maori or any other group. But to say it has no influence denies a vast amount of research on the topic, all to score a political point.

    Laws may or may not be a racist but he is most certainly a bigot: someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats other people with hatred, contempt, or intolerance.

    • Michael

      blah blah blah

      • Rex Widerstrom

        As opposed to rant, rant, rant from your hero.

        • Tom

          Keep apologizing for Maori then.

          • Rex Widerstrom

            I’m not apologising for anyone. Explaining isn’t apologising. You don’t have to be a criminal if you’re poor, so you should own your actions if you decide to, and especially if you harm a child.

            But Laws is a bigoted fool if he refuses to acknowledge the causal link between unemployment and poverty, and criminality of all kinds as proved by the CIS meta-analysis as well as countless other studies.

            We can have a useful debate around why people who abuse their children are unemployed and poor and how we create jobs for them and ensure they have no option but to take them rather than sit at home working on their feelings of inadequacy and resentment which then get taken out on a child, or we can spout bullshit in a newspaper. I’d rather do the former.

          • Nechtan

            I call it a load bollocks on poverty/unemployment being the main driver for child abuse, thousands of kids grew up in the depression years (my parents included) and they weren’t beaten to death.

          • Rex Widerstrom

            I grew up (relatively) poor – my parents were both factory workers and mum stopped work when I was born – and didn’t get beaten to death. And so did a lot of the kids I grew up with, and they all survived too. So it’s a lot more recent than that.

            If you want to go more deeply into it (and some studies have) there’s a lot of inter-related factors. I wasn’t made to feel bad because I went to school in clothes that were darned and didn’t have a scientific calculator.

            But back then a scientific calculator was about the only electronic gadget a kid could have. Now they’re conditioned to want iPods and iPhones (even the prefix is in the first person) and to make their parents feel inadequate if they can’t provide them.

            Back then I never heard anyone in receipt of a benefit being called a “bludger” on talkback (and there were no blogs to deride them on). Being unemployed still left you some dignity, and it certainly did during the Depression.

            Back then our school trip was to the edge of the local national park, by bus, and was over in a day. By the time my younger brother went to school it was several nights in accommodations at the same park (with consequent higher costs) and for my kids it was an airplane flight to a ski field in the South Island (with a price tag that made my eyes water).

            And that – the distortion of demand and the blurring between need and want – is just one of the contributory factors. Factors over which we – even as a nation united – have no control, and so have to accept and work with.

            None of which, as I said, excuses or even mitigates turning round and harming your own or other’s children. Not even a little bit.

            But if we want to stop the kind of people who wouldn’t understand the discussion we’re having from taking out their rage on innocents, we need to put prejudice aside and have a realistic discussion about causes.

          • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

            Yes because when I lost my job I came home and decided to hit someone… I think violent people will be violent regardless of whether they’re employed or not. Heard of Charles Saatchi?

          • Rex Widerstrom

            Yes, and there are dozens of Maori who, even if they won Lotto tomorrow, would still beat their kids. But the research says hundreds wouldn’t. You know… actual research, by the right wing think tank the Centre for Independent Studies? (Just ask an Australian lefty what they think of CIS and watch them turn purple. The ABC has demanded their private funders declare themselves).

            And if we can prevent whatever proportion of kids being abused, then we should look at the research and not at some self-serving, unsubstantiated, pile of crap in a fish-and-chip wrapper.

          • JC

            “And if we can prevent whatever proportion of kids being abused, then we
            should look at the research and not at some self-serving,
            unsubstantiated, pile of crap in a fish-and-chip wrapper.”

            Then you should look at NZ’s own figures.. even the nutty CPAG which shows Maori 2-3 times more likely to abuse their kids than Europeans. Funnily enough, the Pacific Islanders who often earn less and more likely to be unemployed have the same rate of abuse as Europeans, same for poor Asians.

            Poverty and unemployment are correlation, not causation.. much more important appears to be culture, especially Maori culture with the Christchurch longitudinal study showing that the more “Maori” a family reports itself as the slightly less sexual abuse but statistically more violent towards their children.

            Add in the well known propensity for dangerous drinking and you have just about all you need for child abuse. Having lived next door to three flats for 30 years and occupied 90% by Maori I can give you chapter and verse about that.

            Its going to get worse because compulsory drug testing in forestry and sawmilling, farming and manufacturing is striking out 90%+ of that bottom quintette of Maoridom who are then condemned to casual work, the dole, drug dealing and some crime.

            Unemployment is the end result of low expectations, drug taking and alcoholism and and child abuse and neglect are some of the consequences.


          • Rex Widerstrom

            Well said. I would have thought it was obvious that an outfit like the CIS wasn’t saying “handing out free money is the answer” (and nor am I) but it seems to have flown right over the heads of the Radio Dead-from-neck-up listenership who’ve turned up to defend their hero.

            Poverty —> unemployment —> cause of unemployment (mostly those you’ve identified) —> fix the cause —> less (not no) abuse.

            “Fixing the cause” might include drug and alcohol testing those on benefits (alcohol testing is more expensive; unless you’re dealing with a chronic alcoholic who can’t stop for a few days prior to the test you need to test hair, but so be it), for instance. Then it may mean residential rehab (or no dole).

            But the debate needs to move past the simplistic Maori-bashing in which Laws loves to indulge and look at some workable solutions. We could do worse than take a good look at the NT intervention, which as I said elsewhere on this thread, seems generally to be welcomed by those on whom it was imposed.

    • THey might be poor but they always seem to have plenty of money for booze…might that, rather than poverty have more to do with abuse?

      • Rex Widerstrom

        Although not in the least religious, I’d say it’s more to do with “idle hands”. It certainly doesn’t help if they’re drinking all day, but the sheer boredom and dull routine of unemployment is enough to grind anyone’s gears. Why do you think prisons impose a dull, unchanging, bleak routine on inmates? To make them the kind of places you don’t want to go back to. For an unemployed person, however, there’s no parole.

        A job is about more than money. It’s about self respect and respect for others; about feeling valued; about having mates to have a few beers with after work and vent your frustrations; and above all about being busy rather than idle.

        I’d like to see some figures on the prevalence of child abuse among the Maori who used to work damned hard in the forestry industry round Tokoroa or in the railway workshops in the Hutt and other such places. I’d be very surprised if it were proportionally any higher than the rest of the population at the time.

        • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

          I graduated into a recession and was idle for almost a year. Never hit anyone.

          • Mr Sackunkrak

            Likewise, but I’m guessing like me you didn’t grow up with a knuckle dragging mongrel beating you every time he felt like a loser. Poverty is an excuse as is booze and drugs. They are wired wrong to start with. Their kids need a better start than they can ever provide, unless they are prepared to change. That’s why I think Paula is right.

        • Col

          Yes that is right boredom, or in this case bedroom makes more money or too booze on. I have always said get out of bed send the kids too school, go and clock in at WINZ, never know might get a job. As I have said before keep giving and those will keep on taking, as soon as you see it gone, or is going will people get up and do something about it. Boredom will give you the Pot, drug, beer drinking culture and if some kid is in the way, watch the fuck out. People like Hone need to stop saying POOR.

    • Muffin

      That’s a load of shit, short of cash so you put your kid in the dryer. It’s people like you that stop anything meaningful being done.

      • Rex Widerstrom

        No. And no. That’s not what I said and I’ll bet you anything you like I spend many more hours than you working on issues – mainly around criminal justice, sentencing and rehabilitation – that make some attempt to stop criminality (including child abuse) than you’ve ever done, or will do, or could do given your obviously limited grasp of causal factors.

        Go tell the Centre for Independent Studies it’s bullshit and see how far you get.

        • Muffin

          I think people are responsible for bashing their kids, and you think it’s because the poor diddums aren’t getting enough benefits.

          If you spent soo much time dealing with bashed kids I can’t imagine you would think the way you do, you sound more like a Winz cashier/ case worker?

          • Rex Widerstrom

            No, the sharp end of the criminal justice system, including time in prisons where I see thugs bashing other thugs and preying on the weak. And in courts, where I hear the excuses trotted out.

            I have no time for those who beat their kids, and accept no excuse for doing so.

            What I am saying is that if a young Maori child were – by removing them from a bad environment if necessary – able to model good parenting skills, found a job and the self-esteem that comes with it, were encouraged to form stable relationships (how about we take some of the DPB and use it to reward young men for staying in a job and supporting their family? Can’t be any more wasted than using it to encourage giving birth to unwanted children as a career choice) and just generally lifted out of the mire into which they’re born, then they might grow up and not beat on the next generation.

        • steve and monique

          Ok, so if they were employed,and were earning a good income,then rates of abuse would slow down,or stop. Seems like a very simple answer, but will it actually work. I am wondering if the problem is a systemic lack of parenting skills,and education that has either failed,or has been ignored by these folk. I guess if you are raised by abusive parents,then the chance of repeating this with your own children is possible. Maybe if we could remove these children from an abusive parent/s,and place them in a positive caring well balanced home,then we could break the cycle. Guess Paula Bennett may have got this partially right with her new bill. Hey,only the opinion of a father,and someone who is not highly paid,but was raised right,by great parents,and I will never hit /abuse my kids. Money has and will never change that

          • Rex Widerstrom

            Yep, CIS says “education” but means it in a broad sense – from parenting skills to learning the rewards (not just monetary) of getting up in the morning, taking a shower and turning up for work… things the second (and sometimes third) generation of welfare recipients have probably never done.

          • steve and monique

            So we need to break the cycle of what has become a state of being for these people. Providing of course they can be bothered to change,and do not just want to blame society for all their ills,and take no responsibility for their own actions. Which is the situation we find ourselves in now. Their leaders would rather make money,and do not,or will not help correct the failings of their race. The education on the broad range you describe, would be likely impossible to attain considering these peoples dislike for wanting to help themselves. In Short, apart from stopping the cycle,and starting from scratch,we are wasting time and resource on trying to band aid a major problem. From what I know you can only put down a dog that bites,and wont change. Ok,I do not suggest genocide, but do suggest taking the young away from these people,and place them in an environment that is caring/positive and is suited to the education you have mentioned. This could even be funded by the leaders/ Iwi/ Tribes. so a positive culture based system could be formed allowing these children to break the chain of abuse they have suffered, and give their own children a fighting chance. Now how do we change their leaders to agree to this, and stop blaming colonization for their problems.

          • Rex Widerstrom

            You’re dead right that there’s a cohort who won’t change. They’re thugs who’ll harm anyone weaker than themselves – women, the elderly, children, animals…

            And about the “leaders” who’ve taken the money for so long, and never been held accountable for the outcomes. I still recall vividly being sent to Hamilton to look at what the Mahutas and their cronies had done with all the cash.

            A “university” with no teachers or students… a corporate box at the stadium in Auckland… a pub in Melbourne… nothing I was told about helped one single Maori child out of poverty or an abusive home. And that was by no means the only example…

            Yes, forcible removal has to be a last resort. But often if the other factors are addressed it doesn’t have to happen. Look at the NT intervention, decried as racist by city-dwelling liberals and a few Aboriginal activists but welcomed by most of those on whom it was imposed. By paying benefits onto cards which could only be used by the person named, and only to buy food and grocery items, the women are now able to buy food for the children and don’t get bashed for grog money. And the men have either sobered up or pissed off.

          • steve and monique

            And I am guessing this will carry on for a long while yet. Sadly the damage and lost respect of the Maori race in the eyes of other NZers is going to take generations to heal. The word racist is bandied about freely these days,and mostly used by Maori who take offense to observations regards failings on their peoples part. The difference is we are not racists, but just just sick and tired of repeated insults to both our intelligence, and our sensibilities.

          • Phill

            And about the “leaders” who’ve taken the money for so long, and never been held accountable for the outcomes. I still recall vividly being sent to Hamilton to look at what the Mahutas and their cronies had done with all the cash. A “university” with no teachers or students… a corporate box at the stadium in Auckland… a pub in Melbourne… nothing I was told about helped one single Maori child out of poverty or an abusive home. And that was by no means the only example…
            so what did you do/what was done about it?
            You seem to bang on about accountability, and have a lot of examples of poor performance…but nothing gets done/accomplished?
            (PS: not a personal attack on you…I don’t even know you. But it sounds like you are inside the dysfunctional system that continually brushes over the problem)

        • Phill

          “I’ll bet you anything you like I spend many more hours than you working on issues – mainly around criminal justice, sentencing and rehabilitation – that make some attempt to stop criminality (including child abuse) than you’ve ever done”
          And yet we still have this problem.
          Your “many hours” have been in vain or you are ineffective.
          Maybe its your feeble justification for abhorrent acts of violence against our children that is stopping any real progress.
          People like you who say, “Its not ok, but he/she came from poverty so it is understandable.” make me sick.
          There is no “Understanding” or exceptions that make it ok to Bash kids.
          Why don’t you spend those “many hours” convincing people of the real focus….Its not ok – end of story. any time we let anyone get away with the “yeah but….” defence, you become an enabler and dilute the value of the argument.

    • The RobberDog

      Please note, your quote from the Centre for Independent Studies talks about ‘crime’ and ‘incarceration’ and ‘offending’ – as much as yes, bashing and killing children are all of and result in the above, the paper obviously is not specifically related to the bashing and killing of ones own children. And so… shut the hell up. Mike Laws is bang smack dead right 100%

      • Rex Widerstrom

        Child abuse is a subset of criminality. Do you really think that the types who abuse children do not also indulge in other criminality? Your hero “Mike” would no doubt tell you different.

        I picked that CIS monograph as it had the most concrete statistics linking poverty and crime (including child abuse). But there’s plenty of others. Try this one, which says:

        The standard cycle sees increasing numbers of children churned through the system. These children experience multiple and poor quality out-of-home care placements that frequently break down, interspersed with repeated failed attempts at family reunion. In many cases, this cycle will almost certainly perpetuate the inter-generational cycle of parental dysfunction, abuse and poverty. [my emphasis]

        Neither CIS nor I am saying that poverty is the sole cause or that removing poverty will stop every abuser. Just that it is a factor which correlates to high levels of abuse.

        My turn. Name one piece of research on which “Mike” has ever based his bone-headed bigotry. Just one. Ever.

  • cruiseyman

    They don’t abuse their children because they are poor, but they are mostly likely poor for the same reason(s) that they abuse their kids. So yes the two things are interelated but not in the way that some would like us to believe.

    • Mr_V4

      Yes some of these people have very short fuses, and when they let the fuse go in the workplace, are quickly marched out the door. Too much of a history of that and where would you get another employment chance from?

      Unfortunately the kid doesn’t have the choice to march a parent out the door when said fuse burns.

      I think anger managment is one issue, of course it doesn’t help that a whole variety of brown politicans foster them to be ‘angry’ with all manner of grievances.

      • cruiseyman

        Exactly. Lack of self control and self discipline, no respect for people and property or just being a plain loser. These personality traits can be the cause of a whole variety of problems, poverty, unemployment and abusing kids being the obvious ones.

  • hookerphil

    I noted that the stated opposition to the proposal to take children away from abusive “families” was that they would be far better off with their whanau. Although overseas at the time I recall that in the case of the twins this loving and caring whanau chose to maintain silence in order to protect their own butts. I would not feel that this attitude has anything to do with poverty.

  • Mr Sackunkrak

    Inadequate begets inadequate. The only way to break the cycle is removal into an environment where fists are not the answer to every challenge in life. That’s precisely why I think Bennett is exactly right with policy. Booze, drugs and “poverty” are just enabling excuses for repeated failure, and the cost of those excuses are the lives of so many children who’s names are all too familiar to us.

  • thor42

    I think it’s bloody *great* that Bennett is going to take *action* rather than commissioning yet another bullshit “study” to tell us what we already know.

    If you’re an abuser then your children may be taken away from you, whether you’re white, brown, or purple with yellow spots. Nothing could be fairer than that.

    You do the crap, you pay for it. End of story.

  • cows4me

    Personally I think it’s more of a moral problem and a breakdown of the Maori family. Maori have always lived in large family groups ( tribes, Iwi whatever you wish ) . The family structure for some Maori people have been broken down by migration and welfare. Where once children were guarded by elders this has been lost by many living in the city and basically fending for themselves. This has been compounded by welfare and white liberal bullshit. I have to speak personally, my family is Maori, I’m proud that my children are Maori and Kiwi. Unfortunately a lot of the present problems are the direct result of Maori lacking the guidance and authority that was once dished out by Kaumatua.

    • Col

      I am not Maori, but your so bloody on the button with what you say. If you look at it years ago if the young Maori had problems they went home to Grandma and Grandpa, not today, if I may say this, they have there own City family, and as you rightly say the hand outs from us white fellas has down graded them which is not what they needed or wanted.