There is never any excuse for abuse of children and it’s natural for us to want long prison sentences for her killers. However, unless we clearly see the context in which she was killed then we will condemn other children to similar abuses.
Yes the context of what makes people stick a toddler in a drying machine to torture her.
As Nia Glassie lay dying in hospital last August the New Zealand Herald published figures related to child abuse among Maori. Social issues reporter Simon Collins reported that Maori children were more than twice as likely to die from child abuse as other children but that this was a relatively recent development.
In 1987 child abuse deaths for Maori were on a par with the rest of New Zealand. From 1978 to 1987 the number of children aged 0 to 14 per 100,000 killed was 0.92 for non-Maori and 1.05 for Maori.
However from 1987 it rose rapidly. For the period 1991 to 2000 the figures were 0.67 for non-Maori but 2.40 for Maori.
This dramatic increase has obvious roots. The number of Maori in paid work dropped by 15 per cent between 1986 and 1991 while total employment fell just 6 per cent. Maori unemployment peaked at a staggering 26 per cent in 1991 while the non-Maori rate was just 9 per cent.
Maori were disproportionately degraded by the policies of Rogernomics under Labour’s 1984 to 1990 government.
Yet those who killed her did so in a time of near full employment. But hey let us ignore that and blame it all on Rogernomics.
Those who demand vengeance for Nia Glassie’s death would be better to first set up a gallows outside Parliament and the Business Roundtable offices before they focus on the miserable men guilty of her murder.
Yeah, nothing to do with those who tortured a three year old. Or the neighbours who did not report it. The guilty parties are those who saved a country from bankruptcy.
The most important solution to ending child abuse is to make full employment the number one economic priority. Forty hours work on decent pay by which a breadwinner can support a family in dignity and respect must be at the heart of social and economic policy. Not surprisingly it was dropped as Labour Party policy back in the 1980s by the likes of Roger Douglas, Helen Clark and Phil Goff while it’s never been National Party policy.
So Douglas, Clark and Goff plus National are all to blame. Again never mind that at the time this happened unemployment was the lowest in the world. I think it is reprehensible of Minto to try and blame this sociopathic torture and abuse on the economic policies of 20 years ago.
Anything less than this is to cry crocodile tears for Nia Glassie and condemn more children to her fate.
You don’t get full employment by turning a country into Cuba, as Mr Minto advocates. You get it by having a strong economy.