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Sunday, June 25, 2006

GUEST BLOG: Bloody Maaaareez and bloodied twins

-------Gonzo Remote: observations with id - bomber blog-------

Nothing brings the red out in a man's neck like dead babies. Every unspoken suspicion that "Dem Maaaareez is animals", has been allowed airing over the Kahui twins deaths. The Sunday Star Times took it to new heights with the screaming frontpage, "You've buried your babies, now tell us who killed them". Not an easy ride for a people who only a couple of years earlier were being accused by Don Brash for being the most privileged group in Society (that coming from a rich white straight male ex bank Governor - oh I laughed).

The Kahui twins death is a tragedy but it is also a tragedy that needs to be contextualised. Abuse is no more a genetic trait of Maori any more than it is of Aborigines, it becomes a cultural trait exasperated by poverty. It is a truth that no one in the media wants to accept.

80% of NZ earn below $40 000 and the majority of those on the bottom are Maori. Now this in no way justifies beating your babies to death, I've heard enough solo mums from Glenfield on Radio Live! and ZB venting that they are poor, but wouldn't kill their kids to appreciate that society wants to blame stereotypes rather than entrenched realities and historic causes. We hear about the abuse, see the appalling lifestyle and get angry, we want to blame, need to blame and refuse to think beyond the secret satisfaction we get out of vindicating all those unspoken vilifications of Maori.

The sad reality is we won't look into the deeper reasons behind the Kahui twins deaths, we won't identify the cultural reality of those on the bottom of the heap, we will pass judgement and wait for the next tragedy to prove us right about 'Dem Maaaareez".

Martyn "Bomber" Bradbury


At 26/6/06 2:19 am, Blogger Bomber said...

TPK stats (albeit from 5 years ago) remind us of the overall position of Maori vis a vis Pakeha.

Bad houses where a loose collection of semi-related family members live and breed dysfunction are actually quite common. Most people will know of one in their neighbourhood. They may be quasi-gang houses. They tend to attract all the wrong sort of people and the behaviour of the occupants spirals downwards as the role models are apalling. The police - if they haven't all been rotated out - will know them.

My old flat was burgled by some people on two occasions from one of these dysfunctional houses. When it happened a second time I rang them up. The first thing the woman on the line accused me of was racism! She said I was only ringing her up because they were Islanders. I reminded her that everyone on our side of the street were either Pacific Islanders or Maori including our flat and I wasn't ringing any of them up: "I'm ringing your house because that's where the last burglar came from." No sorry, no apology - just feigned indignation and defensive excuses.

I was taken through by the police on the earlier case to identify stolen property there - just two doors down. Some cousins or something were staying in an extended group situation. With their choir practise etc. they could be mistaken for a model household. But their tolerance of hard-core offenders ripping off their neighbours and their mates parking their cars all over other people's driveways belied a deep indifference to the welfare of others. Good Christians indeed. They offered no apology or anything - if the situation was reversed I would have been embarassed and apologetic - they (and I mean all of the adults there) just couldn't care less. One of them even recognised me as the owner of the local bookshop... but they were treating the whole thing as normal. If my neighbour showed up to search through the house for stuff that someone had nicked I would at least express some fucking sympathy.

Well anyway that was them - this Kahui house seemed more like the one I lived opposite in Stanley Bay back in the old days when working class people lived there (1980). It was Mongel Mob I think. One night I remember vividly some little prick from there poured oil or diesel on the corner and waited to see what would happen. Eventually a motorbike came around the corner and skidded over, sliding into the curb. Utterly pointless.

The young people in those situations rely on the senior adults of the household for some guidance and rule-setting rather than to operate party central as a entrepot for fencing and drugs. That sort of place becomes a weeping sore of fights, drunkenness, rape and the beating to death of twin babies.

But why? Helplessness and dispair? Not being able to see past next week's benefit payment? No hope. Why would someone resign themselves to such a fate? The problem with people who have given up on being good is that the only people who will take them in are even worse people. Without being able to get out of the rut - when your entire social group is in the rut too and normality is dysfunction and the acceptance of the unacceptable - what hope is there?

At 26/6/06 3:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Half of the children killed in NZ in the last decade have been Maori. That is grossly disproportionate to their population. Something is amiss, Bomber, as you say, but it's not poverty. Pacific Islanders have lower average incomes than Maori yet a much lower rate of child homicide, indeed even lower than that of Pakeha. The problem is cultural.

At 26/6/06 6:14 pm, Blogger Swimming said...

The Kahui's werent poor. Chris and Krus parents were getting more than $32,000 a year

Thats NET, not gross.

At 26/6/06 8:25 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again we hear from the media of a terrible tragedy - a tragedy that has all New Zealanders tongues wagging with fiery rage.
All, from Helen Clark, the opposition party, all the ministers within, - expressed this rage in fact, right down to the everyday kiwi bloke walking in the street.
Chris and Cru Kahui - two innocent little babies – murdered!

We all know that children rely to us to care for them, to keep them safe, to help them grow so that they can become adults and live a satisfied life that they choose.

We know that these two little babies that died would not have been able to say a word, they would not have been able to defend themselves against the violence that was delivered to them, resulting to their demise, in their own home by their own family.

What I want to know is, is if this happened to a Pakeha family, would the Police have let them get away with the facts and the truth for this long??? I wonder?

The fact that this involved a Maori family should not make any difference to the continuation of the investigation by the police. When dealing with issues such as this, the Police must show equal professionalism to all people, regardless of the name of the person, the skin colour, the hair colour, – in fact, scarf colour even!

I suggestion is that if no answers are brought forward by mid morning, then the Police are expected to go in and arrest all family members and charge them accordingly because this has gone on too far now and they are to be aware that they are not allowed to get away with this.

At 26/6/06 8:48 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

"arrest all family members" - Tai hoa! The Police will get their offender - meanwhile is it too hard to believe that some members of the family are actually traumatised by what has happened and need time to grieve? If you were a member of that family would you think it appropriate to be arrested even though you know nothing!? The Police will do their job. Jack boots at mid-morning is is as crazy as any other time.

In all the high pitched fury it is amazing that we all just expect the murderer(s) (assuming of course that is what it is) will give themselves up. If you were a double murderer looking at 15 years minimum would you surrender so easily? We expect a person who would act in such a monstorous way, and would be described as a monster, and having the shame of an entire furious nation focussed on them to just come over all guilt-stricken and admit to everything. I wish they would too, but I don't see it happening without giving a responsible group of family members enough time to make it happen.

At 27/6/06 6:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

arrest all of them fucking bastards!!!!!!!!! !

At 28/6/06 1:54 am, Blogger webweaver said...

Interesting post, Martyn, it's given me more food for thought. I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about this whole mess. I've linked to your blog post from mine on the same subject: Suffer the little children. Hope that's OK.

At 28/6/06 2:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was interested to read Martyn and Tim's comments and I agree that it is far too simplistic to lay the blame for child murders on race alone. Violence, crime, drugs and dysfuntional families exist in societies everywhere.

It is well recognised that social deprivation in its various forms, whether absolute or perceived, can and does produce subclasses and subcultures of 'deviant' behaviour within any larger group or society. If you are raised in such a sub-group you are more than likely to think and behave in a similar way when an adult. Therefore, 'blaming' purely on the basis of race, colour or creed alone is ill-informed at best.

I must also say that I am uncomfortable with discussions about total numbers of abused or injured children amongst Maori and other groups. When looking for similarities or differences comparisons should be made using the RATE, which for most things is usually taken as the number of 'cases' per 100,000.

I notice that the TPK stats are virtually all in percentages, except for one where the measure is per 1,000 live births (itself a scientific unit of measurement).

For a true measure of an event (in this case child deaths) between populations (all New Zealand children, grouped by race) it is not good enough to talk in total numbers or percentages. Quoting such statistics can be very misleading, which is why they are beloved by commercial advertising.

At 28/6/06 10:31 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Further to the issue of rates of child deaths as against percentage -

Here is an extract from

"Ethnic differences
In the five years from 1996 to 2000, Māori children died from maltreatment at an average annual rate of two per 100,000 children. Over the same period, non-Māori children died at an average annual rate of one per 100,000 children.

International comparison
A UNICEF study of child maltreatment deaths in rich nations in the 1990s reported that New Zealand had the third highest child maltreatment death rate (1.2 per 100,000), behind only the United States and Mexico (both 2.2 per 100,000). This finding should be treated with caution because the very small numbers involved produce highly volatile rates. In addition, although the figures come from the same data source (the World Health Organisation) and use the same international classification of death by cause, there may be differences between countries, and within countries over time, in the classification of death by intention."

In that period the total number for ALL New Zealand children aged under 15 who died as a result of intentional injury was 49.
SOURCE http://www.socialreport.msd.govt.nz


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