The Sunday Star Times last week had this editorial about Michael Laws discussing the child abuse cases that have recently occurred in Rotorua.

Not many people would be brave enough to articulate this sort of point of view. What do other think?

I’ve also just become aware that Laws donates all of his $120k mayoral salary to Wanganui community groups – brings him up several notches in my books….

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • Laws was never one to pull back from controversy. There is certainly no plausible excuse for treating a child so badly, but the resultant outpourings of public grief are becoming a little predictable.

    I’m glad Laws makes the connection between violence, dysfunction and poverty. Maori are grossly over-represented in almost every negative social statistic, so it’s no surprise that there is an endemic culture of failure and a breakdown of social mores in some communities.

    Laws mischievously proposes removing the children from the parents at birth. That’s a rather Orwellian response and itself an act of violence. I’d like to know who decides between the “good” Maori and the “bad” ones. Didn’t they try that one over in Australia? Just this week an Aboriginal man has successfully sued the Crown in a test case for the “Lost Generation”.

    It is all too easy for affluent, white middle class commentators to point fingers. Violence is a societal problem, not just a Maori one. Hand-wringing by government agencies and rhetoric from academics has had little affect. More publicly funded interventions are not the answer either. What is needed is to cultivate community leadership that can affect some real change.

  • Falafulu Fisi |

    Michael Laws is right. Cut the welfare support in this country completely and we will see more these child abusers step up their personal responsibilities.

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