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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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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