NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Welfare Gone Awry

January 12, 2004

Indigenous people in most developed nations are portrayed as victims of colonizing cultures. Until recently, New Zealand's Maoris were no exception. The welfare system that has been established is having a devastating affect on these people, says John Tamihere, an associate minister for Maori Affairs in New Zealand:

  • A generation ago Maoris had one of the nation's highest rates of employment.
  • Currently, there are third and fourth generations who are unemployed and receiving welfare benefits.
  • While less than 40,000 people were on welfare in New Zealand in the 1970s, there are 360,000 recipients today -- nearly 10 percent of the population; about 300,000 of these people are able to work.

Tamihere believes that it has destroyed Maori initiative and created widespread dependence. He is calling for the privatization of the welfare system and a return to personal responsibility rather than an entitlement to public charity.

Source: Jane Mack-Cozzo, "Killing with Kindness," American Enterprise, January/February 2004, American Enterprise Institute.


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