South Auckland – the real issues

by frog

It’s worth picking a few quotes out of Sue Bradford’s speech on crime in South Auckland to Parliament earlier this week:

The law and order parties in this House were given a tremendous bonus a couple of weeks ago when the sequence of four tragic murders in South Auckland sparked a ferocious law and order reaction around the country, in the media and in this Parliament.

Kneejerk reaction has come from all sides. The Green Party understands the sorrow, anger and despair felt by all those affected by the recent deaths. And there is no denying the sense of personal insecurity and fear that comes from living in an area where violent crime is insidious and apparently unstoppable.

Somewhat unfairly South Auckland has become the metaphor for all the poverty and deprivation that that extreme right wing policies of the 1980s and 1990s created. South Auckland is huge and diverse place undeserving of its negative reputation, but there are times and pockets that remind us how how long the effects of Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson can linger.

I think the most telling figures in this debate have been those presented by Alan Johnson in the Herald last week. He says that in Manurewa there are places for only 36% of local preschoolers compared with a national average of 64%. In Randwick Park, site of the liquor store murder, there are early childhood places for only 20% of preschoolers.

That seems so much more important than the number of liquor stores in the neighbourhood. Which is not to say that liqour stores are not an issue.

To put it simply, children that grow up in financially secure households with access to quality education from preschool onwards are a lot less likely to go out randomly killing people when they reach adulthood.

Seems a simple investment to make really.  It’s not the only solution, but it’s a start that recognises the problem not the symptom.

frog says

Published in Parliament | Society & Culture by frog on Sat, June 28th, 2008   

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