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LINDSAY MITCHELL: Time for some perspective

A lack of perspective can make something quite large or important seem small or irrelevant.

Against a backdrop of high-profile, negative statistics it is easy to overlook the positive.

For instance, the fact that 64 percent of Maori are employed is rarely reported. For context, the employment rate for all New Zealanders is 68.4%. The difference isn’t vast.

In excess of 400,000 Maori have jobs, provide products and services and pay tax.

Maori are over-represented in the manufacturing, and utilities and construction workforces. They are disproportionately service workers, labourers and machine operators. As such they perform crucial roles.

97 percent of Maori aged 15 or older are not in prison or serving a community sentence or order. Over 99 percent of Maori are not gang members.

Yet as an ethnic group Maori take a lot of heat.

Their pockets of failure (which occur across all ethnicities) overshadow their success because it suits certain political aspirants to promote the negative. The predominant individualist culture wants Maori to get their act together and exercise greater personal responsibility. While the collectivists want the community to take the blame for Maori failure and fix it via redress. The finger-pointing at colonists as the culprits, which has ramped up immeasurably over recent years, has resulted in a great deal of misdirected anger towards Maori, the bulk of whom just want to get on with their lives. (To boot, this simplistic description ignores that since the early 1800s Maori and non-Maori have become indelibly interlinked by blood and it has become impossible to identify which finger is pointing in which direction, such is the absurdity of modern-day racial politics.)

It feels safe to say that most people want to live peaceful, happy and productive lives. We share those basic desires regardless of race. It’s that commonality that makes race irrelevant.

And yet New Zealanders are being increasingly divided, forced to take sides, to figuratively identify with black or white when life is mainly grey. Without some measure of compromise, contradiction and capitulation, society couldn’t exist.

The flipside to poor Maori statistics reminds us that as contributing members of New Zealand we have far more in common than ever divides us.

Lindsay Mitchell blogs here






3,800 views128 comments


Cameron Hunter
Cameron Hunter
3 days ago

So who said there are only lies, damn lies and statistics? It's always time for perspective, thanks Lindsay.


Lindsay, you make a very good point, and is well supported by your research. Everyone wants a happy, peaceful and productive society. and it is, as you say, our commonality that makes race irrelevant. In fact New Zealand had been much this kind of society for decades and was often touted in global statistics as such.. The racial polarization is a recent phenomenon and has been driven by a quietly "progressive" agenda over recent decades, but more openly and aggressively by the previous Labour Government, 2017-2023. Leading it are those in authority; government, bureaucracies, judiciary, education etc who seek to change the social and political dynamics of our nation.. Make no mistake, this is intentional.

Yes, "Maori" do get targeted,…


5 days ago

Breaking News!

"A group of iwi representatives have been successful in their appeal to challenge a High Court decision setting aside a summons to the Children’s Minister to appear in front of the Waitangi Tribunal."

Time for a bill to be passed under ungency to elimate the Waitangi (gravy train) tribunal.

The Crown should immediately take it to the Supreme Court, or change the law.

4 days ago
Replying to

So "lawyers acting for iwi tendered a more compelling argument than Crown Law" did they Cameron? How uplifting a formerly abused child from a place of safety and returning that child to the source of abuse is "compelling" beats me.

Minister Chhour suffered a rotten childhood; she knows what goes on and where the faults lie within the system, and is doing something about it. In my view the safety of those unfortunate children trumps any concerns around culture and race, no matter who that might be.


Pray tell, what percentage are benefiting from the Treaty settlement farce?

Replying to

Hard to say without investigating each iwi’s policies and statistics which will be available from their published annual reports. Ngāi Tahu, one of the larger iwi, has contributed over $9 MILLION for 2023 Annual Distributions, Matched Savings, Newborn Distributions, and associated taxes. All eligible members (who were enrolled members as at 31 December 2023 and aged under 65) will have received $151* minus any applicable taxes into their Whai Rawa account, a managed fund available to all

Let us know what you find for other iwi.


Well said.

There are too many seeking to divide us. There’s no reason everyone can’t be productive, functioning and comfortable members of our society if they come from functional families.

Just stop unfettered immigration so the country has time to catch its breath. We do not need any more unqualified labourers!

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