28 Sep 2009

Economics and not ethnicity seen behind Maori crime rates

9:08 am on 28 September 2009

A Maori academic says what he's learned at two international conferences on indigenous child abuse, has confirmed his belief that economics and not ethnicity are behind high rates of Maori child abuse and murder.

Waatea News reports Rawiri Taonui, the head of Maori and ethnic studies at Canterbury University, spoke at conference workshops in Italy and Wales.

He says a sharp rise in the number of Maori children killed coincided with the economic reforms of the 1980s, when many Maori lost their jobs, but the rate is trending down.

Mr Taonui says indigenous people overseas want to know more about how the Maori cultural renaissance has contributed to a decline in child abuse.