About the Author

Avatar photo

Dr Muriel Newman

Concerns over Amnesty

Print Friendly and PDF
Posted on

McCullyDuring an open debate at the United Nations Security Council in New York last week – to mark its 70th anniversary – Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully launched a stinging attack, calling the fifteen member council “impotent” and urging it to lift its game. New Zealand’s two year term on the Council, which has just commenced, was gained through the backing of many other UN nations that would like to see reform.

In his address, Mr McCully explained that a greater focus was needed on conflict-prevention: “It is time for us to confront the root causes that have seen this council avoid the challenging task of conflict-prevention simply because the politics and the diplomacy have been too difficult.” While the UN has a peacekeeping budget of over US$8 billion which funds over 120,000 personnel, virtually no investment is made into preventing situations from escalating into conflict.

Mr McCully stated that the future credibility of the Security Council depends on satisfactorily resolving the abuse of the veto power by the Council’s five permanent members – France, Britain, the United States, China and Russia: “The use of the veto or the threat of the veto is the single largest cause of the UN Security Council being rendered impotent in the face of too many serious international conflicts.” He wants all permanent members to follow the lead of France and make a commitment to voluntarily retire their veto in cases of mass atrocity – an understanding that existed when these nations first gained their veto rights in 1945.

The veto right of the Security Council’s five permanent members was also an issue raised by Amnesty International in its annual report released last week. The 415 page review of the state of human rights in 160 countries singled out the Security Council for harsh criticism saying that the five permanent members had abused their veto right by promoting political or geo-political self-interest above the protection of civilians. The report went on to claim that the global response to the atrocities being carried out by groups like the Islamic State against civilians has been shameful and ineffective.

Amnesty International, a leading global human rights advocate with seven million supporters and an annual budget of over $100 million, was founded in 1961 by British lawyer Peter Benenson. Concerned by the plight of freedom fighters imprisoned in foreign countries, Amnesty focussed on prisoners of conscience, defined as, “Any person who is physically restrained (by imprisonment or otherwise) from expressing (in any form of words or symbols) any opinion which he honestly holds and which does not advocate or condone personal violence.”

The organisation drew attention to the plight of such prisoners – using mass media campaigns and reports on the policies and practices of offending governments – in order to ensure public pressure was directed towards those who could influence their release.

As Amnesty International became more successful, the pressure of a growing support base and the need to raise money to fund their increasingly bureaucratic organisational structure led to a broadening of their mandate to include the full spectrum of human rights. Some would say this resulted in a loss of competency and focus. Instead of solely raising awareness of prisoners’ rights in dictatorial regimes, Amnesty now campaigns on such populist issues as globalisation, capitalism, poverty, and gay rights.

According to their website, the charity’s priorities for 2010 – 2016 are “empowering people living in poverty, defending unprotected people on the move, defending people from violence by state and non-state actors, and protecting people’s freedom of expression and freedom from discrimination”.

One of Amnesty’s most prominent critics is a former board member, Dr. Francis Boyle, professor of International Law at the University of Illinois-Champaign, who explains, “Amnesty International is primarily motivated not by human rights but by publicity. Second comes money. Third comes getting more members. Fourth, internal turf battles. And then finally, human rights, genuine human rights concerns.”

As a result of their change of focus, Amnesty International has now become highly critical of free democratic nations, instead of maintaining a single-minded focus on the grave human rights abuses in authoritarian regimes. Not only does this discredit the organisation and devalue its impact, but it means that it is failing the real victims of human rights abuses world-wide.

Amnesty’s criticism of New Zealand’s so-called human rights violations, as listed in their annual report, illustrates the point.

For instance, Amnesty makes some highly critical generalised comments about governments that are not doing enough to protect citizens from the threat of terrorism, but when our government passed legislation to increase national security and reduce the threat of terrorism, they disapproved. In particular, they were critical of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) legislation and the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation.

In terms of the legislation surrounding New Zealand’s lead intelligence agency, the GCSB, the new law was required because the original law, which had been passed by the previous Labour Government in 2003, had been found to be lacking in clarity and oversight. Given the crucial role that intelligence agencies play in keeping citizens safe, crippling the GCSB through unworkable legislation was simply not an option.

Amnesty also criticised the government over the foreign fighter law to counter terrorism, claiming it would restrict rights to privacy and the freedom of movement. And it is certainly designed to do just that for potential terrorists!

The Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill, which was passed by a substantial majority of the House, gives greater powers to the Security Intelligence Service for surveillance and to the Minister of Internal Affairs for suspending and cancelling passports. The new law also fulfils our international obligation to comply with a recent United Nations Security Council resolution urging States to restrict the movements of people travelling to become foreign terrorist fighters. At the time, Government agencies had identified 30 to 40 people of concern, with another 30 to 40 requiring further investigation.

Amnesty also complained about the time frame for consultation over the new law, but following an increased terrorist threat in Australia, as soon as the new government was sworn in after the 2014 General Election, work began on the Bill. It was introduced under urgency at the end of November so it could be passed before the long Christmas break. While submissions on the Bill were only open for two days, around 600 were received, and all of the submitters who wanted to appear before the committee were heard over a three day period.

In addition, the Bill contains a sunset clause, expiring on 1 April 2018, since the new GCSB legislation introduced a comprehensive review process for all security and intelligence laws and agencies: “A review of the intelligence and security agencies, the legislation governing them, and their oversight legislation must, be commenced before 30 June 2015; and afterwards, held at intervals not shorter than 5 years and not longer than 7 years.”

When it comes to legal protection in law for human rights in New Zealand, the Amnesty International report claims a “lack of human rights oversight in parliamentary processes”. Yet the 1990 New Zealand Bill of Rights Act has within it a requirement for the Attorney-General to alert Parliament to any draft legislation that appears to be inconsistent with human rights obligations.

In terms of women’s and children’s rights, the Amnesty report is highly critical, claiming that “27 percent of New Zealand children remained in poverty. Maori and Pacific Island children were disproportionately represented in child poverty statistics, highlighting systemic discrimination”.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator Lindsay Mitchell has looked at the Amnesty report and disputes their findings, noting that, rather than discriminating against Maori andPacific Island families and children, if anything, our New Zealand health and education systems provide them with additional benefits. So what about the welfare system?

“Are Maori and Pacific Island children being denied benefits that NZ European children access? Again, the opposite is nearer the truth. Maori children, in particular, disproportionately receive social assistance, especially by way of Sole Parent Support.

“A recent New Zealand Statistics report into the employment rates of NZ females reveals that 40 percent of Maori mothers, and 29 percent of Pacific Island mothers  are un-partnered. This has a direct bearing on child poverty.

“The official source of child poverty statistics is the Household Incomes Report published by the Ministry of Social Development. It finds:  …the poverty rate for children in sole-parent families living on their own is high at 60%…the poverty rate for children in two-parent families is much lower at 14%…

Lindsay asks whether there may perhaps be some systemic discriminatory force that prevents Maori and Pacific Island parents from forming stable partnerships and concludes: “There is validity to the theory that welfare benefits have undermined marriage. If the state is prepared to financially replace fathers, especially low income fathers, then there will be inevitable repercussions”.

The reality is that the sole parent benefit has indeed significantly undermined the Maori family. But it is not because of discrimination – it is a behavioural problem: disproportionately more Maori women than non-Maori women regard state support and sole parenthood as a viable lifestyle option.

Without a doubt, the poorest families in New Zealand are single parent families on benefits. But a few extra dollars of benefit each week will not cure welfare poverty. The only cure is a job.

Just last week in Parliament, the Minister of Social Development explained that “nine out of 10 young people who went on to a benefit grew up in benefit-dependent homes as children”. This reinforces the importance of breaking the cycle of intergenerational welfare dependency, and in particular, eliminating the financial incentives within the benefit system that encourage the creation of sole parent families.

In essence, New Zealand’s thirty year experiment with the social engineering of families by the state has not only failed dismally, but by removing fathers from homes and creating sole parent welfare dependency on a massive scale, endless children have been seriously damaged. The consequences are clear to see.

As the Amnesty report outlines, “Maori made up 50% of the total prison population and 65% of the female prison population, despite being only 15% of the general population”. But it isn’t because of discrimination – the root cause is the breakdown of family. As the late Celia Lashlie, a former prison manager, used to say, just ask any prisoner about their family upbringing. Most have been raised without fathers in sole parent families. Many grew up in unstable and violent homes, and lacking proper nurturing, socialisation and supervision, eventually found themselves on the path to criminal offending.

With the stand-alone sole parent benefit creating such a strong incentive for single parenthood amongst young women, changing the system to one that provides support based on work – as recommended by the Welfare Working Group – is the only way that the situation will be permanently improved.

If Amnesty International were to recommend that, as the way to reduce child poverty amongst Maori – and criminal offending – then their credibility might well improve!


Do you agree with Amnesty International that Maori and Pacific Island children are disproportionately represented in child poverty statistics as a result of systemic discrimination?

Vote x 120

*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


Click to view x 120


Amnesty International, like Greenpeace and the NZ Education Department all started off with the very best of intentions in mind. Overtime they have been taken over by radical socialists with the intention of replacing democracy and a capitalist financial system with creeping progressivism.. The fact that progressive socialism has been tried and failed in several places around the world seems to entirely escape these people. Ronmac
You get something you want or need for doing nothing to get it, you will always want it that way. It is human nature. Deborah
I certainly will not be supporting Amnesty International again with their left wing agendas of poverty and homosexual rights – enough groups already doing those issues. Monica
Once again were having to prop up the maori, because of there own failings. Shane
Amnesty is a socialist/ communist mutation from eggs of the eastern b lock and from Marxism. It is a secret left flank of the cruel, lie filled climate change false, cult. Its purpose is to infuse guilt and shame with false pretences, and so assist to weaken non-dictatorial nations such as NZ. It is filled with envy filled, Marxists, whose chief weapon of warfare against democratic counties is a masquerade of being the righteous and just judge. It is nothing of the kind. Amnesty International is a dangerous under- cover political agitation and accusation army of guerrilla warfare enemies of ours. They are our enemies. The come to kill steal and destroy. they come as sheep in wolves clothing. They are nothing but snakes, whose venom is deadly. In the same category as Islamic terrorists, but without guns and tanks. Foolish fiends and morons every single one. Tell us to carry a burden they would not place a finger upon. Cleanse us off the disease of Amnesty International; Karl Marx descendant of death. Alastair
Amnesty blew their whole credibility with me when they started their attack on the way violent and vicious prisoners were disciplined in n.z. jails when they were confined and even helped them get compensation through the courts. Having worked in this area all my working life 37 years Amnesty are a joke and have completely lost their focus which was inhumane treatment of Political Prisoners in many countries which do not have western type country laws based on Judean Christian value system. Dene
Both those races are better treated than all other N Z ers.To much interference by overseas busy bodies Tell them to but out and pick on middle eastern countries. Ken
Parents are responsible for their children (especially how many they have) and their ability to provide for them. Carol
Although doing so may be unacceptable because of its cruelty to some innocents, we would be doing Maori and Pacific Island children of the future a wonderful gift %u2014 freedom from poverty and a better future as citizens %u2014 if we totally scrapped state support for single mothers. If you cannot stomach that, let us work toward a compromise that is not too far from totally scrapping that support. Rob
A lot of them are low income “families.”??? But are unmotivated because they have been spoiled by this bloody welfare state. If there is racism, it is in reverse and non maori are the ones discriminated against. Carolyn
We need to elect politicians who have the ability to reject the nonsense put out by Amnesty International and similar organisations and work at running NZ Ltd as an efficient business. We need to work at giving every citizen the skills to find and keep a job so that welfare is not looked upon as a way of life. Ernest
What a load of rubbish from a bunch of left wing academics. What planet do these people live on? Lee
A.I. has, unfortunately, like most if not all would-be world gummint organisations been taken over by socialist bureaucrats and its output of specious nonsense is evidence of that fact. An example is the manner in which poverty is evaluated as a percentage average. This ensures that, no matter how much assistance is given, there will Always be that same percentage judged to be poor. It is a blatant lose-lose situation. Auntie Podes
It is a result of more children than parents can adequately manage and/or don’t really care anyway. Peter
The NZ health system is fair to all races I believe. Kelvin
Amnesty International is another socialist pressure group. The cause of the so called child poverty in N.Z. is the welfare system and the left wing, racist leaning of this government, most political parties and bureaucrats. Michael
They are out of touch with reality the same as the WHO. John
Maori and Pacific Island children are disproportionally represented in so-called child poverty not as a result of systemic discrimination but as a result of indiscriminate parenting! Bruce
It would be good to se iwi take control of this situation as the youngsters brought into this world should be taught to enhance the mana of their people. Currently maoris are looked upon as a drain on the nation. Dennis
They need to re-discover their pride. Low self esteem and confidence seems to be endemic within these cultures who leave our education system with no qualifications whatsoever. This is the area in which we are failing. Kenneth
Amnesty International should come here and see for themselves the true picture here in N.Z. instead of latching on to untrue comment. Tom
Although it could be argued discrimination is in the positive way giving them too much help as per the article, which means that it is the ordinary working kiwis that are actually discriminated against – who’s standing up for them then? Chris
All races in New zealand start with the same opportunities. However Maori appear to have more alternatives to help them move ahead. Unfortunately not all seem to be able to take advantage of the additional help available. Keith
Quite the opposite the state provides too much without requiring anything in return. Jim
“Amnesty has great in-tent but has no view outside the tent” of the real picture. Maori and Pacific folk with poverty, legal, health problems etc. need help like other kiwis and have had all the support facilities like all others here – the difference is some have used it to lift themselves up to be self reliant. Stan
Amnesty International is an organ of the Left so have nothing to do with it. Don
It’s self-inflicted poverty NOT discrimination. Rosemary
The proposition by Amnesty International is false. In addition to the massive separate funding these groups receive, consider the fact that both groups are substantially assimilated into the mainstream NZ population through inter-marriage. In other words. there just would not be that degree of assimilation if those groups were being discriminated against. against.y wouldn’t be discrimination. Peter
Discrimination in New Zealand is largely an excuse by some for poor parenting. . A typical example is the failure of some parents to feed and clothe their children; instead leaving it to the State. Since when did a parents ‘creature conforts (‘ beer, cigarettes, gambling , etc) come before tihe welfare of their children? This attitude is encouraged by polititians knee jerk reaction of throwing money at every problem.- to buy votes.. Poor behaviour stars at home too.. Instead of teaching and discipling their children it is easier to blame the system when inevitably the children grow into law-breakers . Harvey
It is the social welfare hand-out system for votes that has encouraged the less productive & lower moral standard, members of the public, to rely on government support, rather than accept personal responsibility for their actions. Young, irresponsible woman who give their bodies freely to any irresponsible male, will of course, eventualy become pregnant, & bacause the father of the child had no intention of staying around, of course you will end up with poverty, as the mother will be just as irresponsible with the money she is given, as she was with her body in the first place. The fact that Polynesian people are at the top of the list is not surprising, as they mainly support the socialist doctrine that caused the problem in the first place. Personal responsibility has not been encouraged by politicians for years, as they desperately seek power by giving what should not be given, simply to out-do the opposition. U N is run by failed socialists who are determined to rule the world at the expense of the productive sector. Allan
It is a state of mind brought about by lack of parental example in work ethic, budgeting and self esteem. Carole
Poor statistics despite the opposite of the discrimination claimed. Jack
Clearly, single parent benefits have encouraged the phenomenon they support, resulting in far too many Maori and Pacifica children living in very poor families. John
The lead article this week says it all – – the “welfare state” has created a legion of “welfare dependent followers”, determined to extract as much as they can from the taxes that you and I pay, without any physical effort, nor remorse, on their part. HENCE THE PRISON AND OTHER FIGURES QUOTED IN THIS ARTICLE. How do you changes such an embedded system in society now ? I don’t know . . . . MervB
Amnesty International are yet another organisaion that has been high-jacked by the extreme Left. Same for Forest and Bird, and Green Peace. Sharen
There is nothing like a lifestyle change to improve the outcome, responsibility of parents for a start. Arthur
What a crock of #$%& With a $1.5 billion head start for their race based priviliges THEY are Way ahead of the rest of the population that pay for it Its about time the Moari ELETE dipped into their pockets and distribute the monies as it was APPARENTLY intended for But i believe in the tooth fairy. Like thats going to happen. NOT. Ron
The only way to succeed is to try. Don’t expect to be looked after. Rob
Maori and some Pacific Islanders were ‘dragged’ up in their formative years. There was no discrimination. David
If you can’t afford children don’t have them – simple! Alan
Maori child poverty is caused by lazy parents. Peter
They get alot of thing layed on for them in todays world. Robert
Lord save us from dogooders. Barry
They are disproportionally represented in child poverty statistics because of the failure of their parents to accept the responsibility to providing for them. Peter
No – it is of their won making and their system of hiearchy. The irr chiefs /Hierarchy get first crack at the money. They .have the same benefits PLUS, don`t take responsibility for their action and the inane polititians, particularly in NZ have the fear of witchery being cast over them. Robert
More a failure to project the mind into future space, and plan their lives accordingly! Josephine
There are more benefits, grants and schemes specifically aimed at benefitting these two groups than any other demographic. How is this systemic discrimination? Dave
They are disproportionately represented by a system which rewards behaviour that rewards people for making bad choices and / or being lazy. “Nana State will look after me no matter what I do”. John
In NZ they all have equal opportunity. Barry
It is the breakdown of values in NZ and world wide, causing poverty not the skin colour you were born with. Ido
More nonsense to gain an advantage over others. Mike
Rubbish. Graeme
Working for a living would help improve their self esteem and would lead to less crime and poverty. Steve
I would suggest that it is POSITIVE discrimination towards Maori that creates these issues. Mark
Nonsense. David
Absolutely not. I no longer support Amnesty International because of reports like this that are so wrong. Just read Lindsay Mitchell’s article. Colin
What a load of bullshit. Maoris in particular show themselves to be nothing more than violent freeloading savages who are out to abuse all available benefits and have a false sense of entitlement and will commit any crime at the drop of a hat with no regard for their victim whatsoever. Our prison population shows just that…. so does “police ten 7” Des
The problem is mainly due to sole parenting lifestyle choices, also prevalent among other cultures but has become an epedemic among Maori & PI communities. Education is the key. Dave
Anything to do with the UN is suspect anyway but this sort of report is what they planned to say-evidence is secondary. Roger
Too many grow up in unstable and violent homes, most lacking proper nurturing, socialisation and supervision. Many young parents hand over their children to other family members, so takeng little responsibilty for their welfare. Monty
How do we get involved in all this rubbish. Bill
Definitely no. With their own Minister for maori and special treatments for “cultural” reasons Maori are not discriminated against. Graeme
Parenting and the lack of Fathers is the problem – we need to discourage solo Mums ! David
Amnesty International, have a huge financial interest in criticising the most democratic countries ,world wide. This approach not only reinforces the beliefs of social beneficiaries and the barrow pushers, but more importantly creates a huge guilt complex on the powers to be, who immediately go on the defensive and increase social benefits and international aid which makes them feel as if they have addressed the imaginary problems ,were in fact all they have achieved is lined the pockets of the organisations of those who have fed them the propaganda NZ does not have Child Poverty what we have is CHILD NEGLECT Amnesty should direct its efforts to countries that have REAL poverty. Barry
Absolutely not. It is – as you have said – the direct result of the breakdown of family. Jeremy
Thoroughly agree with your article. Choosing to have children when not married is a personal choice – irrespective of colour, race or creed. Choosing to keep having children when one has no job to support their upkeep is totally irresponsible & selfish – irrespective of colour, race or creed. People who choose to live this life are forming their own poverty and discrimination. Go back to doing the real, most necessary work you were originally formed for, Amnesty International, and take your race card with you. Sarah
Systemic discrimination is present, however is to support the groups esp Maori. One couild argue ‘yes’ in that the welfare system removes a lot of incentives for self reflection and improvment. Mike
Absolutely not. I will not comment further in case it starts a civil war ! Rog
The arguments covered in the well written article say it all. Thanks Murray
Certainly not! Brian
Culture has a part to play in both maori and pacific island children’s poverty Raewyn
Another cringing left-wing organisation who have lost their direction and strayed from their core business. Gary
What a load of nonsense! Andy
We are lucky as a country but people have to help themselves and be disciplined within their families and curb the unnecessary. Elizabeth
Reverse discrimination is very much in evidence in New Zealand, and is totally wrong. We must lead the western world in the amount of race based legislation on our statute books. The DPB is a major reason for all childhood poverty. John
They are given the same opportunities as any other child in New Zealand. The choice to succeed or fail is theirs or more accurately, their parents and families. It is near impossible for a child of any ethnic background to rise out of the mire of apathy and in some case systemic hostility towards self improvement if the elders influencing the child are mired in a culture of state dependence and open hostility towards any opportunity for situational improvement. Wayne
They have the same rights as any one else in this country. They, put themselves where they are by there own choices and the way they live their lives. I would say do away with the Domestic Purposes Benefit and make people take responsibility for their own lives. Eric
I believe Amnesty are simply finding excuses to justify their existence and fund raising in this country and in their push for donations falsely represent their interest while being mistlyinactive. Judith
Amnesty has gone the same way as other international bodies – started with the best of intentions and then infiltrated by those who desire the demise of western democracy. The United Nations and Greenpeace are two prime examples of a noble cause being compromised to fit a subversive agenda. I was about to include the Waitangi Tribunal but that was a jack-up right from the start – and NZ’s most undemocratic quasi governmental body that has ever been created was sanctioned by our own gutless politicians. NZ voters must be the most obtuse lot in the entire western world. Mitch
New Zealand most definitely does NOT discriminate against ANY race. The facts are that the very small percentage of Maori and Pacific Islanders are receiving the greatest percentage of the Welfare dollar. Diana
Discovering contraception would be a good beginning … Paul
One does get very sick of this liberal lefty nonsense. Roy
It’s easy to say in our PC climate. Frank
Amnesty International exists only for those disillusioned souls in life who have missed the boat and need a crutch of perceived moral support. John
Maoris are given more financial, educational, health, housing and employment benefits than others so it is impossible to say the are discriminated against detrimentally. Maori as a whole are $47 billion in the blue while Government is $10 billion in the red (last I read), due to Waitangi Tribunal’s corruption of New Zealand’s history and Treaty settlements derived therefrom, why can’t Maori organisations holding this money do something for their people? George
Maori and Pacific Island children in new Zealand have the same opportunities for a fair upbringing as any others. The callous use of the word discrimination is a horrible bare faced lie. Roy
I have no cofidence in Amnesty Int &find it no surprise through knowing the Communist educated members in my community! Cyril
Here we go again poor Mowi how long do we have to put up with this rot a lot of us were brought up in the thirtys were always fed and clothed with very little money yet today there are adiquit benefits available to all so why child poverty now drugs lotto drink and smoking are probably the cause so parents need to pull up there socks and get real as far as there children what ever race I and a lot of the older generation get sick of hearing all these sob storys go to some of the over seas countrys to see what real poverty is we live in a land of plenty so stop moaning. Russell
We have to teach the solo parents the meaning of the word responsibility. Having a child is easy but it makes you the parent, not the state. Get of your but and look after the child the way you should. Johan
Their poverty is self made as John Graham quoted that Maori don’t achieve because they are lazy and don’t want to work.they are an intelligent race and use their time and intelligence to evade working and live off the taxes of other hard working tax paying new Zealanders.as Allen duff wrote the welfare state has moved the Maori and island population to permanent poverty. Morrie
Absolute bollocks. With all the government support given to disadvantaged groups it a shame that those communities are still disadvantaged. Allan
To many Maori and Pacific Island Women another baby means more money and then the schools feed them. In England things have changed. Child Allowance fore the first and second child only and any more means those allowances will be reduced as well as no more being given. Pat
Maori have more schemes etc in place to help them than Europeans so should be better off. maybe they need to look at their priorities. Buy food and pay the rent before booze and drugs. Murray
A primary cause of child poverty is the abandonment of mothers and their children by the father. Ken
I think blaming discrimination is easier than dealing with the real causative issues. Mark
Child poverty has more to do with parental neglect rather than discrimination. John
Rewarding people will benefits and other handouts will never encourage them to “grow’. Think what will they do when/if the money runs out………. Stui
Where are the parents? Barry
Not at all. It gets back to decisions made not to finish one’s education and to make oneself available and qualified for employment. If a young woman becomes a sole parent in her teens then the children start off at a disadvantage. I accept that different circumstances can bring children to poverty but the whole welfare system seems to include a mass of people who think that they are entitled to a long life free ride from the taxpayers. In my opinion they form a constituency for left wing Parties who are reluctant to hold people accountable for their own decisions and behaviour. The “Maori are hard done by” mantra proclaimed by some groups does no favour for those Maori and Pacific Island citizens who are earning their keep and doing their best to give their children the best possible education available. I recently met one of these Maori citizens in a North Island provincial town. After forty years’ work he now owned two taxis. He visited his children who were living and working in Australia. While there he had set up trust funds for his grandchildren to be used for their education. I didn’t think to ask him if he had been discriminated against because of his race. He, his children and his grandchildren are not living in poverty because, years ago, he made the right long term decisions on how to organize his life – just as the people reading this post are doing or have done. Maori poverty? Maori education failure? Maori crime statistics and imprisonment rates? Maori preference and Maori issues? Will these go on forever or will the disadvantaged or law breaking elements do something to help themselves? Denis
But it is so-called “positive discrimination”which is the cause of the problem. “Entitleitis which drives apathy and laziness is the root cause. But the “child poverty” figures are a sham anyway. Rod
NO.  What is wrong with the Common Sense we used to use. Are we held now to people adjusting facts to suit their agenda. Lance
Looking at all the special rights Maori have especially the iwi “business” entities not paying land or income taxess, Maori are systematically discriminated for, not against. Also low decile schools get twice the money per child that high decile schools do – again discriminating against those who already pay all the tax and recieve the least benefit. Mike
Reluctance to discard the basic stone age culture justifies getting something for nothing, and prevents adherents from progressing to independence with global cultures. Maori are not identifiable by bloodline – just the whim to adhere to a culture than no longer serves them. Brian
Yes they are but it is not because of discrimination it is because of lifestyle, lack of education (their choice), lack of work ethic (brought about by lack of education and the benefit system). Tony
How on earth did they come to this conclusion – seriously take a good look Amnesty International!!! Maddi
“Systematic Discrimination” !!! What are these clowns on ??? It’s a disgrace that our government waste tax payers money to fund UN programs like Amnesty International. What a complete waste. This is more utter crap that the lefties are trying to rub in our faces …. flush it !!! Steve
It is quite the opposite, nothing to do with discrimination. Since Matt Rata started agitating in Northland about “poor Maori”, the business of solo maori mothers as a career move has been on-going. The DPB has been one of the biggest social mistakes in NZ. Lorraine
Absolute rubbish. Noela
We all have the same opportunities it depends on who we choose to listen to. Dave
They haven’t got a clue! It is time they stopped poking their noses into the business of democratic sovereign states. Judith
They have the opportunities as all Nz’ers. Ian
Their opposition to Israel defending itself against Hamas is simply shocking. The fine organisation was taken over years ago by mad left wing radicals. many nice people in the group don’t pay attention to that and are simply ignorant, rather like the Green party “Brand” in Germany Australia and NZ. David
It is the elite maori that discriminate against the poor maori. Larry
Amnesty International is a biased undemocratic disaster zone. Ian
But I think %pay increments are turn blue collar workers into slaves. Anne
We, the taxpayer, have over the years supported more non European families which has indirectly fostered the gimme gimme attitude. Prison population statistics bear out the poor upbringing of the inmates. Get a qualification and get a job.. Chris
AI do not do their homework properly. They are also too leftish! Peter
Get single mothers off the DPB and into jobs. Carolyn
Many of the Maori and Pacific island people put themselves in to that position, particularly who create a whole new level of systemic discrimination against other non-born New Zealanders..if you put your self in that position you become to believe it..we all have the same opportunities but some given more privileges than others but then do not make the most of those special privileges..go figure. Audrey
Maori and Pacific island children in poverty are in poverty for a number of reasons, welfare dependency bad parents and bad habits. Plus they are not the only demographic struggling with poverty. Many Pakeha New Zealanders are also on the poverty line. Rhys
The governments of National and Labour in a variety of misguided attempts to help poorer families have succeeded in making their lot worse. Why we elect the two major parties time after time amazes me. Ray
They make it a life style choice in many cases. Mark
….deep past DNA and RNA characteristics always appear when any pressure appears…. Chris
Somehow they need to break the chain of being dependent on welfare handouts and solo maori/pacific mums should ge given abortions after their first unmarried child. Harsh but something has to be done as they are using the welfare benefit system so they do not have to work. Wayne
I am of the belief that Amnesty International has come to be as big a pack of useless, oxygen stealing, space wasting dickheads as Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd, PETA, and all the other groups of lying hypocritical bastards who seek to destroy humanity by stealth while purporting to save the world from itself. Kerry
It’s easy to blame “the system” but much harder to exercise personal responsibility. Have the complainers asked themselves why Asian and Indian families are generally so much better-off? It’s a matter of cultural mind-set. Graham
Poor parenting, welfare dependency (entitleism) and sitting around blaming others for your predicament are contributing factors to “poverty”, that is, of course if you actually believe real poverty exists in New Zealand. John
A blatant and totally inaccurate report,so how is this rectified, publicaly, internationally? Security council? Richard
With separate systems in place just for them how can it be? Maori must take responsibility for themselves. Gregg
Claiming discrimination is just a cop out. The problem is caused by the choice of too many Maori and Pacific Island women, who should be working, to bludge off taxpayers. The sooner they are forced to take personal responsibility for earning a living, the sooner their family circumstances will start to improve. James
Amnesty have it totally wrong – it’s not discrimination but lifestyle choice. Carol
Amnesty International has become a mouthpiece for radical socialists. Andrew
I used to support Amnesty but not since they adopted their left wing causes. Graeme
There is no poverty in New Zealand. It is a huge media beat up. Sure there is hardship, but that is different. As you say, a job will “cure” that! Michael