June 5, 2009
Chair Dr Hone Kaa of Te Kahui Mana Ririki said today he was shocked and saddened by a new report on child abuse published by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.
“The report shows that Maori children are more likely than any other group to experience abuse, and makes for some sad reading,” Dr Kaa said in Auckland today.
The report, Death and serious injury from assault: a review of international literature and recent findings, reveals that:
- Between 1991 and 2000 half of the children killed by their parents were Maori. They were killed by mothers and fathers.
- Maori ethnicity increases the likelihood of abuse of boys by six times and girls by three times
“This is one of the first times I have seen a report make a direct connection between being Maori and child abuse. So our boys are six times more likely to be abused than other groups, and girls three times more likely. As a people this is the most critical issue we face. I urge every whanau in the country to become actively involved in the battle against child abuse.”
Te Kahui Mana Ririki is a member of The Yes Vote coalition, which is encouraging New Zealanders to participate in the upcoming referendum on smacking.
“The referendum question is misleading: “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?” This question links smacking with good parental correction, which it is not. I encourage all Maori to vote ‘yes’ so that the current law, which protects our young ones from physical punishment, is maintained.”
“This new report shows how important this issue is for us as Maori.”