Damien Grant: Racism everywhere in public service

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The Human Rights Commission has written a report on structural discrimination in the public service.  Photo / Thinkstock
The Human Rights Commission has written a report on structural discrimination in the public service. Photo / Thinkstock

New Zealand has a problem with racist doctors. We know this because the Human Rights Commission has written a 61-page report on structural discrimination in the public service and discovered GPs spend less time and order fewer tests for Maori and Pacific patients. The commission concludes "... it is important to attend to the unconscious bias of health-care practitioners".

Bill English has said he wants to bring the Crown accounts back to surplus by 2015. He can start by abolishing the Human Rights Commission, a completely pointless body whose sole purpose appears to be finding human rights abuses so they can be paid to rectify them.

They have been busy. The entire public service suffers from structural discrimination, which can also be defined as institutional racism, according to the commission's report.

The educational sector is so racist, a South Auckland principal describes mainstream schools as being like a blank colouring-in book; white spaces decide what success looks like and whose knowledge is important.

I'm not making that up. She said it and the Human Rights Commission thought this rubbish was so profound they put it in a report.

The justice system is racist; the high rate of Maori incarcerated is proof and a marae- and Polynesian-based approach to crime is recommended.

Alas, the commission resorted to a stunning piece of intellectual dishonesty by selectively drawing on a 2007 Corrections Department report that looked at the high rates of Maori incarceration.

It found that when you control for other factors - education, poverty, etc, "Maori over-representation is not a Maori problem at all". Put simply, Maori do not commit crime; unemployed and uneducated young men from poor backgrounds do and the justice system locks them up, no matter their skin colour. I can attest to that.

The public service has an anti-Polynesian bias because it is based in Wellington and most Polynesians live in Auckland.

Again, I am not making that up. Ten million dollars we spend on the Human Rights Commission and this is the sort of insights we get.

The most appalling piece of sophistry in this artless document is the claim that Pakeha are beneficiaries of structural discrimination. How this nugget survived the editing room I do not know, but people of all races are the victims of crime and honest taxpayers of all races bear the cost of a dysfunctional welfare system and the crime that stems from it.

You may be wondering how the commission came to its conclusions. Perhaps they conducted statistically controlled indepth surveys with peer-reviewed analysis over several years?

No. They interviewed 35 government employees over a range of departments and concluded from this there is structural discrimination in the public service.

They could have interviewed 35 Asian migrants who worked themselves into the ground so their children could get into medical school and become GPs what they think about institutional racism, but they might not have liked the answers.

Debate on this article is now closed.</i>

- Herald on Sunday

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