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Axe DPB, says report on Maori
By REBECCA PALMER – The Dominion Post
Last updated 05:00 21/07/2009
The domestic purposes benefit should be axed to discourage young women from getting pregnant, a Business Roundtable paper on Maori and welfare argues.
Other radical options discussed by its author, Wellington welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell, include replacing state-funded unemployment benefits with private insurance, replacing some benefits with loans, and regionalising and privatising Work and Income.
Under a privatised system, competing operators could be given incentives to reduce the number of beneficiaries, she suggests.
Prime Minister John Key had not read the report yesterday but said it sounded “pretty draconian”.
Social Development and Employment Minister Paula Bennett said none of the ideas were on the agenda for the Government.
The report is the fifth working paper on Maori from the Business Roundtable, which represents the interests of large businesses and whose membership is dominated by the chief executives of major firms. Previous papers have looked at the Maori seats in Parliament and Maori economic development.
Mrs Mitchell said yesterday the welfare system had “hurt Maori more than other New Zealanders, and will continue to do so”.
“In particular, the practice of paying for single parenting, substituting the state for whanau, has perverse effects on people who will continue to feature heavily in statistics that describe the worst aspects of life today.”
Her report links a Maori marriage rate “much lower” than the general population to higher reported rates of child abuse. It also points to teenage birth rates among Maori being higher than Pakeha.
She says the priority for Maori should be stopping the flow of young people into the welfare system. “Crucial to solving dependence and all the attendant problems is preventing more young girls from entering the system that traps them.
“That means discouraging them from getting pregnant in the first place. To that end, the DPB should be abolished.”
She describes DPB recipients as “a job-creation opportunity going begging”, saying about 50,000 have only one child, while New Zealand has a “serious shortage” of private childcare.
But Susan St John, a Child Poverty Action Group spokeswoman, said the ideas were radical and punitive.
Educating young women about family planning and giving them increased opportunities to train were more helpful.
* 43,258 Maori were receiving the domestic purposes benefit at the end of June – 41 per cent of all recipients.
* In total, 97,814 Maori were receiving one of the main benefits – 32 per cent of all working-age benefit recipients.
* Of 104,400 people on the DPB, nearly 90 per cent were female.
* 49,557 of all DPB recipients had one child. About 40 per cent of one-child parents receiving the DPB were Maori.
SOURCE: Social Development Ministry, figures to the end of June 2009.
Equal Parenting @ Ration Shed Add-In
NZ FAMILY Law and Social Policy has been tearing our **Whole Natural Biological FAMILIES** for generations.
Yes the DPB has been a large part of that and thus the debate is worth having if seen as a part of the problem.
However we do need to care for our young surrounded by loving **Whole Natural Biological FAMILIES** were at all possible
Enshrining **Equal Parenting** as the building block back to GOOG old fashion FAMILY would be the place to start, NOT blaming Maori or any other faction for that matter.
Let the real debate begin
Onward – Jim
See what we are up to @ Ration Shed HQ in comments
Comments from others so far
Hardie #1 8:13am
I guess that they’ll be accused of racism and all of those other ‘excuse’ words. But somebody had to put it in the public arena for discussion.
It is pretty obvious to even the casual observer that solo motherhood has become a recognised career option.
Sad for the children involved who become unwanted and end up in gangs as soon as they’re old enough for ‘the benefit’ to stop.
Sad for the mothers who waste their youth and become targets for gang members who live by ‘taxing’ them on benefit days.
Taryn #2 8:43am
WHY THE HELL DOES EVERYONE HAVE TO PICK ON OTHERS/ FATHERS ON THE DPB?!?! BEING WHITE OR MAORI SHOULDNT MATTER.
THERE ARE PLENTY OF OTHER REASONS WHY PEOPLE ARE ON IT LIKE ME!
MY SONS FATHER LEFT ME AFTER HE WAS BORN, I HAVE NO CHOICE, I HAVE NO JOB COZ HES TOO YOUNG FOR KINDY, I HAVE NO BABY SITTERS AND I CANT AFFORD CHILD CARE.
GET OFF OUR BACKS, IF IT WERE YOU IN OUR POSITION, YOU WOULDNT BE ABLE TO SURVIVE. WE GET LESS THAN EVERYONE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY.
BACK OFF AND LEAVE US ALONE. BEING A PARENT IS A FAR MORE IMPORTANT JOB THAN TAKING SOMEONES MONEY COZ THEY BROUGHT SOMETHING AT A SHOP
Anna #3 9:25am
What on earth is a lobby group doing commissioning a ‘report’ on Maori? Why pick on Maori? If people are encouraged to ‘go on the DPB’ then that applies to everyone, not just Maori. Whoever the BRT paid to do the report, they’ve been conned. They obviously got ripped off by someone peddling themselves as a ‘researcher’. If they had actually done ‘real’ research, they would have found a truckload of good quality evidence that points out the obvious and significant flaws with the approach. Or does that person/people seriously expect the NZ public to be so ignorant that we either don’t know what’s going on in other places, or we imagine that NZ is it’s own little universe and the serious problems that beset this type of thing won’t happen to us? I’m not saying the current system doesn’t need changing, but if I’d paid over money for someone to produce this piece of nonsense, I’d be asking for my money back. Let me guess, they had a degree from ‘Denver State University?’
millsy #4 9:28am
Our welfare system is not perfect, but its a damn sight better than than having mothers and their families forced to live on the street or in their cars, which is what WILL happen in Lindsay Mitchell’s little fantasy world.
Peter #5 9:32am
Wow once again the minds of the Business Round Table have shown their true racist ways, which is something to be expected. No one has asked the question why the majority of large business CEO’s wil not join their organisation and its simply because of reports that are done without and TRUE research. I must agree the numbers are high but one also needs to see why they are high as “Taryn” has commented she is on the DPB has no partner, no sitter, cannot afford childcare and cannot leave the child alone at home so she (one of many) does not have a choice. Maybe the business table should report on the things Maori have done well e.g. Tainui has turned their business right around and are looking at being the most profitable Tribe in the country, Ngai Tahu Holdings has many portfolios and are still doing well as well as providing for their people. Whale Watch Kaikoura are doing very well and have started in Australia. This is just to mention a few.
“Hardie” says it is the truth and they will end up in gangs, which I thought was funny because he or she must be living in a high economic area. I would love to see he or she live on $305.00 per fortnight because that’s the truth.
Chris L #6 9:35am
Hey, I’ve got a good idea. I’m going to commission a paper on the problem of Pakeha in business. Let’s see, how about the finance business. They just keep ripping off old people’s life savings, while living their comfortable lives in trust-protected assets. The impact on public confidence in investment has been significantly damaged, and no doubt the country is suffering for it. Think of all those lost jobs and lives ruined forever. The main problem must surely be that increasing numbers of Pakeha see getting rich on other people’s money, then running off when the companies go bust, as a career option, with few – if any -consequences. Oh, what’s that I hear? That’s not fair and why pick on white businessmen, when the majority are hard-working and don’t rip people off? Well, see above article.
Don #7 19 min ago
I am delighted to see that someone has the courage to address this issue seriously at last. This is not aimed at legitimate (deserted)DPB beneficiaries, but at the “career, lifestyle-choice” recipients.
I would also love to see the connection ratio between the DPB’s ‘deliberately chosen’ single-parent children; and those criminals that wind up in our jails from serious offending? I think we all know the gang relationship is all too true.
Perhaps we could phase-out the “lifestylers” over say a five year period?
Where are the social workers and politicians with a passion to deal with an issue that could really make a difference to our country?