Colonisation is to blame

…for Maori being over-represented in prisons

Photoshopped image credit: Luke

Newshub reports quote:

A new report reveals most M?ori believe their over-representation in our prisons is a direct result of colonisation and racism – and experts agree.

More than 900 M?ori people participated in a 28-question online survey as part of research conducted by?ActionStation?and the University of Otago. end quote.

They may choose to believe it. That doesn’t make it real. quote:

Those results were combined with interviews with seven experts and data from previous studies. Supervisors also attended the Safe and Effective Justice Summit in August to gather data for the report.

The results are a damning indictment of the prison system and its impact on M?ori.

An overwhelming majority of respondents (90 percent) believed structural racism is to blame for disproportionate M?ori prison representation, rather than individual blame. end quote.

We’ve heard it all before. Those nasty white people cause Maori to assault, rape, beat up their own children…

… beat up their own children… quote:

That belief was supported by justice experts, who pointed to P?keh? settlers imposing British justice systems onto M?ori as the inciting incident for New Zealand’s racial inequity. end quote.

The most robust and fair justice system in the world. It has stood the test of time and operates today as a system that holds people responsible for their actions… well, mostly… quote:

Analysis from fourth-year medical student at Otago University further illustrated the link between the colonisation of New Zealand and our modern justice system.

“The forceful taking of M?ori land resulted in M?ori having less resources and wealth than P?keh?, and this unfair economic reality pushes more M?ori toward acts of survival that get punished by the justice system,” the report reads. end quote.
Maori didn’t have wealth. They didn’t know what it was. They were a warring uncivilised race, constantly in conflict with other tribes. They had the land, but it had no monetary value to them. quote:

“There were no prisons before colonisation, and prison structures do not fit with Te Ao M?ori [the M?ori world]. Rehabilitation of those who have harmed does not and cannot occur through imprisonment.” end quote.

Except… there is no one alive today that lived under the precolonial period, so there can be no memory of it. No one who is alive today has ever known anything other than our current justice system. So this is just revisionist garbage, designed to make excuses where there are none. quote:

When asked why people commit crimes, survey participants said poverty and survival tactics were the most common reasons. end quote.

Does Meka Whaitiri have poverty issues? Is beating up your children a survival tactic? quote:

Eighty percent identified connected communities as the best way to reduce crime, 76 percent said mental health services and 71 percent said jobs and higher wages would help to bring offending down. end quote.

I don’t disagree with any of those proposed solutions, but I disagree bitterly with the idea that colonisation is the reason why so many Maoris end up in jail. It is almost 180 years since the British arrived here. Since then, the lives of most Maori have improved significantly. They have housing, education, healthcare, jobs (if they are prepared to train) and welfare. If they want to stick to being part of their tribe, they can do that too. The only restrictions are imposed by themselves. Any Maori can do as well in life as any other person in our society but, by and large, they don’t.

Of course, Golly G has to wade into a debate about which she knows nothing:

That woman really is a disgrace. If she cared about Maori people at all, she would be encouraging them to be less separatist, which would not only benefit them but would benefit our society as a whole. If I can think of any racial group that really does deserve some redress, it would be the Jews, after the Holocaust. But you don’t hear them complaining about their terrible treatment (and it really was terrible) even though the Holocaust happened one hundred years after the colonisation of New Zealand. But no. Jews, wherever they are, try their best to get on with life, and the Maori should do so too.

We have got to stop these useless studies and above all, stop pandering to Maori and let them take responsibility for themselves for once. People who beat up their children cannot blame something that happened 180 years ago. If Maori didn’t have this dreadful habit of protecting criminals within their whanau, and made them face up to justice instead, maybe some of these awful statistics would improve. But whatever the reason for the high crime rate amongst Maori, an event that happened in the 1840s has absolutely nothing to do with it.