Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Medium-Skill Occupations

Perhaps the most striking correlation in this section is that between being Maori and being a community or personal service worker – this was 0.72. It’s possible that the best explanation for this very strong correlation is the social orientation of Maori culture, as the community or personal service occcupation is one that demands social intelligence above all.

The likelihood of a member of any given ethnic group working as a community or personal service worker is a reflection of how established that ethnicity is in New Zealand. For Kiwis of European descent it was essentially uncorrelated; for Pacific Islanders it was on the border of being significantly negatively correlated and for Asians the correlation was a moderately strong -0.49.

Interestingly, the ethnic breakdown of those who were clerical and administrative workers was very close to the proportions of those ethnicities in the population as a whole. And so, no ethnicities were significantly correlated, either positively or negatively, with being in this occupation.

In a way, that makes being a clerical or administrative worker the quintessential Kiwi middle-class job.

There is a split in the middle of this demographic when it came to religious attitudes. Technicians and trades workers and community and personal service workers both had moderately strong correlations with being Spiritualists or New Agers or with having no religion.

This was not true for clerical and administrative workers, who had a marginally significant correlation with having no religion and no significant correlation with being a Spiritualist or New Ager.

Medium-skill occupations were generally younger than the high-skill ones, especially community and personal services workers, for who the correlation with median age was -0.46. Technicians and trades workers, however, were very close to the national average – the correlation between working as one and median age was only 0.05.

Being a clerical or administrative worker was much better paid in general than the other medium-skill occupations. The correlation between working in this occupation and median personal income was 0.43, compared to -0.14 between working as a technician or trades worker and median personal income, and -0.31 for being a community or personal service worker and median personal income.

Looking at income bands, we can see that clerical and administrative workers are the best paid of the medium-skill occupations. There is a significant positive correlation between working in this occupation and being in any of the income bands between $40K and $150K, but not above this.

This makes clerical and administrative workers almost as well-paid as managers, and this is reflected in their educational levels. All of the correlations between being a clerical or administrative worker and having a university degree were significantly positive, except for that with having a doctorate. The strongest was 0.32 with having a Bachelor’s degree.

Being a technician or a trades worker is, as most know, a male-dominated occupation. The correlation between working in this occupation and being male was 0.34.

Perhaps reflecting a certain degree of solidarity among the sort of person who would decide to find work as a community or personal services worker, there was a strong positive correlation of 0.67 between being born in New Zealand and working in this occupation. It’s likely that, because immigrants primarily come here for the money, few would come here to work in this area.

Interestingly, clerical and administrative workers were more likely than technicians or trades workers to be paying rent and less likely to be living in a freehold house. Some might find this very surprising considering that clerical and administrative workers are considerably wealthier than tradies, and that wealthier people are more likely to live in a freehold house.

This can be explained by the correlation of 0.39 between working as a technician or trades worker and living on the South Island, and the correlation of -0.16 between working as a clerical or administrative worker and living on the South Island.

In other words, clerical and administrative work might be better paid, but it generally means that you have to live in either Wellington or Auckland and that means much higher housing costs and a less secure tenure of dwelling.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, due to be published by VJM Publishing this winter.

The Fundamental Masculine And Feminine Intelligences – And Stupidities

There is a lot of hot air and angry discussion at the moment about gender differences and intelligence. Some say men are smarter, some say women are smarter, some say both genders have exactly the same degree of intelligence in all areas.

This essay will argue that there are two entirely separate kinds of intelligence, and that the masculine one is best expressed by men and the feminine one is best expressed by women.

Psychologists have long known that men and women differed predictably when it came to certain tasks that their minds were optimised for. Men are predictably better at maths and logic where women are predictably better at language and psychology.

Less broadly known is that the brains of men and women were optimised by differential survival pressures into tendencies towards slightly different behaviours.

The biological past was a brutal place for humans. Survival was marginal at the best of times. Massive predators shared the same jungles as us, and we had nothing in the way of natural defences against them.

Human survival was primarily a matter of intelligence. Individual humans, as a general rule, are intelligent, because it was intelligence that gave humanity the edge necessary to overcome survival pressures in our ecological niche.

Acquiring the necessary food resources for the maintenance of bodily metabolism was always the main challenge for our intelligence. This was primarily achieved in two ways: hunting and gathering.

Hunting requires something very similar to a masculine intelligence. In order to successfully hunt (as a hominid at least) you need to be able to keep quiet for as long as possible, and then to suddenly explode into tightly co-operative action that has a direct and obvious goal (killing something).

As a consequence, men evolved to be very good at delineating a target from the background of visual stimuli that surrounded them. In other words, we adapted to become good at focusing and discriminating.

The flip side of this is the relative inability of masculine intelligence to consider the holistic picture. It simply isn’t necessary, when trying to club a goat to death, to consider any other factor than the immediate task at hand. In fact, it would be a tremendous disadvantage to waste cognitive resources on such things when food was right in front of you and any hesitation could see it escape.

Because more successful hunters were inevitably more successful at surviving and reproducing, this has led to the evolution of a kind of masculine intelligence that allows its holder to focus their attention on a target.

So because the vast majority of hunting in the biological past was performed by men, this masculine intelligence is mostly – but far from exclusively – possessed by men today.

Gathering, on the other hand, requires something very similar to a feminine intelligence.

In direct contrast to hunting, gathering is a noisy endeavour. A group of primates engaged in gathering are constantly twittering to each other information about what they see in front of them, about who has found what, about where to gather next, about the dominance hierarchies of the group, and all manner of chatter.

This means that the selective pressures on women were different to those that shaped men. A gatherer has to do the opposite of focusing.

For women, it was much more important to not be discriminating, to not focus, to stay open. When gathering the important thing is to keep one’s senses as open as possible so that if an example of the thing being gathered came into view it would be noticed.

The flip side of this is the relative inability of feminine intelligence to identify threats in the immediate physical or temporal environment.

Not only is it generally unnecessary – the idea being that the males on the periphery of the group’s territory will keep you safe – but it is actually a cognitive waste, because it’s much better to keep your field of awareness as open as possible, to best notice any nuts, mushrooms and berries.

From this, it’s possible to describe the two intelligences more simply.

The fundamental masculine intelligence is the ability to correctly focus one’s attention (and to see a narrower picture), and the fundamental female intelligence is the ability to correctly unfocus one’s attention (and to see the wider picture).

This probably explains why the bulk of surgeons, who have a very specific task to deal with, are male but the bulk of general practitioners, who must take as holistic a perspective as reasonable, are female.

It also explains why the national Australian women’s soccer team can’t beat a local representative side of 15-year old boys, and why men commit the vast majority of crimes of truly unnecessary violence.

We can also surmise from this that there is a fundamental masculine stupidity and a feminine compliment of same.

The fundamental masculine stupidity is to over-discriminate, and this takes form in prejudices like racism and sexism. Masculine stupidity draws hard and fast lines between things that do not need to be kept separated. This is also why the majority of autists are male.

The fundamental feminine stupidity, then, is to under-discriminate, and this takes the form of making inadequate threat assessments.

And so, in our modern world, we can see all of this in relation to the issues of the day, such as immigration.

The masculine stupidity draws hard and fast lines between the immigrants and the natives and will not let them mix. The feminine stupidity draws no lines and lets everyone in without due care to whether or not they fit properly or want to cause trouble.

Both of these lead to conflict and violence.

The masculine intelligence, by contrast, learns about history and anthropology so it can make more accurate decisions about who to let in and who to keep out. The feminine intelligence gets to know the immigrants and tries to intuit whether their mentality is something to be trusted or not.

Both of these lead to peace.

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Tenure of Dwelling

As alluded to in the previous section, a New Zealander’s tenure of dwelling is primarily a function of their socioeconomic status, with the wealthy likely to be freehold, the next most wealthy likely to be mortgaged, and the poorest likely to be paying rent.

That Kiwis of European descent are well-established as the land-holding class is a fact well known. The correlation between being of European descent and living in a freehold house was a very strong 0.78. There was also a positive, but not signficant, correlation of 0.11 between being of European descent and living in a mortgaged house, and a strong negative correlation of -0.68 between being of European descent and living in a rented house.

There were significant negative correlations between every other ethnicity and living in a freehold house. Even the correlation between being Asian and living in a freehold house was significantly negative, at -0.34, despite that the average Asian in New Zealand is fairly middle-class. The correlation between being Maori and living in a freehold house was -0.52, and with being a Pacific Islander and living in a freehold house it was -0.56.

Because we know that most recent immigrants to New Zealand are Asians or Pacific Islanders, these statistics tell the story of how opening the immigration taps has been immensely profitable for the land-holding class, who were then able to charge much higher rents on account of the much higher demand for housing.

Even stronger, and perhaps even less surprising, is the correlation between median age and living on freehold land – a whopping 0.90. The obvious reason for this is people saving their wage or salary for much of their lives for the sake of being able to buy some land and no longer being forced to pay rent.

Mirroring this was the almost as strong negative correlation between median age and living in a rented house – this was -0.86. There is equally little surprising about this statistic because the majority of New Zealanders leave home as soon as they are able, and very few of these move directly into a mortgaged house (much less a freehold one).

Curiously, a person with School Certificate as a highest academic qualification is more likely to live in a freehold house than a person with a doctorate. The correlation with the former is 0.23 and the correlation with the latter is 0.07.

Some might find this very surprising considering that there is a strong correlation between education and wealth and another strong one between wealth and homeownership. The reason for it is that, when it comes to living on freehold land, age trumps both of those things, even added together.

Likewise, it can be seen there is a stronger correlation between living on freehold land and working in agriculture, fishing or forestry (0.32) than there is between living on freehold land and working in a plum industry like information media and telecommunications (-0.38), financial and insurance services (-0.30) or professional, scientific or technical services (-0.16).

Again, the reason for this is mostly because working in those latter three industries generally requires an advanced degree, and these degrees are mostly held by people too young to have saved the capital to secure freehold land.

One statistic that seems amazing when taken out of context is that only Kiwis in the $15-25K income brackets have significant correlations with living in a freehold house, and that only Kiwis in the $50-70K income brackets have significant correlations with living in a mortgaged house.

That might seem strange until one notices the very strong correlation of 0.82 with living in a freehold house and being on the pension.

Seen like that, it seems a bit strange that pensions are much higher than student allowances, despite being paid to people who also do not have to pay rent out of their benefit as a general rule. Then again, the General Disenfranchisement Rule tells us how such a state of affairs came to pass.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, due to be published by VJM Publishing this winter.

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of the Non-Christian Religious

Although the majority of religious people in New Zealand follow some kind of Christian denomination, there are enough non-Christian religious for it to be worth looking at them as a discrete category.

The Spiritualism and New Age movement is perhaps the most interesting group of non-Christians because they are the hardest to categorise. They are like the others in many ways and unlike them in many ways.

Perhaps the most striking set of correlations relating to the non-Christian religious are those with being foreign born. The correlation between being Buddhist and being foreign born was an extremely strong 0.90, and speaks to how little immigration to New Zealand there has been from Buddhist countries until recently.

There was also a significant positive correlation between being foreign born and belonging to any of Islam (0.75), Hinduism (0.74), Judaism (0.41) or other religions (0.34).

Interestingly, though, there was a moderately strong negative correlation between being foreign born and following Spiritualism or New Age traditions – this was -0.45.

Given that it is very likely any given non-Christian religious person is an immigrant, we can also see trends that are true of immigrants replicated with the non-Christian religious. For instance, the non-Christian religious are significantly better educated, especially in the case of Buddhists and Jews.

The correlation between having a Master’s degree and being a Jew was 0.78; with being a Buddhist it was 0.68; with being a Muslim it was 0.37 and with being a Hindu it was 0.34.

However, the correlation between having a Master’s degree and following a Spiritualist or New Age tradition was negative, at -0.07. This is probably because this particular tradition appears to have its own, New Zealand-specific focus and so they are less likely to be from highly educated immigrant groups.

Again replicating the patterns, all of the foreign non-Christian traditions had significant negative correlations with being on the invalid’s benefit, in contrast to Spiritualism or New Age, which had a significant positive one.

Likewise, all of the foreign non-Christian traditions had correlations of at least 0.50 with never having smoked cigarettes, but the correlation between being a Spiritualist or New Ager and never having smoked was -0.41.

All of these five non-Christian traditions had positive correlations with being on the student allowance, which may suggest a generally higher intelligence among this group. The correlation between being on the student allowance and being Buddhist was 0.30; with being Muslim it was 0.29; with being Jewish it was 0.22; with being Hindu it was 0.19 and with being a Spiritualist or New Ager it was 0.18.

Some might be able to predict the very strong correlations being being Buddhist or Jewish and working in one of information media and telecommunications, financial and insurance services or professional, scientific or technical services. Being Buddhist had a correlation of at least 0.55 with all three of these industries and being Jewish had one of at least 0.60 with all three.

One curiosity is when it comes to how people get to work. Hindus and Muslims are significantly more likely to take a private vehicle to work; Hindus, Muslims and Jews are significantly more likely to take a bus to work; Jews, Spiritualists and New Agers are significantly more likely to walk to work and Spiritualists and New Agers are significantly more likely to bike to work.

The fact that Spiritualists and New Agers have a high incidence of being on the invalid’s benefit but are among the most likely to exercise on the way to work speaks of the large proportion of psychiatric casualties among this group.

Here’s one for the conspiracy theorists: the correlation between being a Jew and having a personal income of $150K was a very strong 0.83. The only other non-Christian tradition to have a significant positive correlation with being in this income band was Buddhism, at 0.40.

For Hinduism, Islam, and Spiritualism and New Age the correlations ranged from 0.00 to -0.12.

The main reason for this can be seen if one looks at the correlations between following a particular non-Christian religious tradition and working as a professional. This had a correlation of 0.70 with being Jewish, 0.48 with being Buddhist, 0.13 with being Muslim, 0.12 with being Hindu and 0.11 with being a Spiritualist or a New Ager.

As a general rule, people following a non-Christian religious tradition were marginally more likely to become sales workers or clerical and administrative workers.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, due to be published by VJM Publishing this winter.

Understanding New Zealand: Voting Patterns of Age

The electoral divide between Labour and National is usually characterised as one of wealth, and to a major extent it is. But it is also about age to a major extent, and some of the correlations between age and party allegiance are surprisingly strong.

The correlation between being in the 50-64 age group and voting for National in 2014 was a very strong 0.74. The correlation between being in this age group and voting Labour in 2014, by contrast, was also very strong but negative, at -0.68.

These correlations are especially strong if they are compared with the respective ones for the 30-49 age group. This age group is almost entirely indifferent to the mainstream parties. The correlation between being aged 30-49 and voting National in 2014 was 0.19, and for voting Labour in 2014 it was -0.04.

Really old people like to vote Conservative more than anything else. The correlation between being aged 65+ and voting Conservative in 2014 was 0.71. Even the correlation between being aged 65+ and voting National was weaker, at 0.65.

Some might be surprised to see that the correlation between being aged 65+ and voting New Zealand First was not near as strong – only 0.10. However, as mentioned in the section about the party, the association between crotchety old pensioners and New Zealand First support is mostly a fabrication.

Indeed, at the other end of the age range, support for New Zealand First was about the same level – the correlation between being aged 15-19 and voting New Zealand First in 2014 was 0.05. This suggests that the early signs of Generation Z being a conservative throwback to a previous mentality may well be replicated in New Zealand.

Young people, for their part, prefer to vote Green more than anything else. The correlation between being aged 15-19 and voting Green in 2014 was 0.22, and between being aged 20-29 and voting Green in 2014 it was 0.56.

The big two parties appear to have very little support among young people in general. The correlation between being aged 20-29 and voting National in 2014 was -0.34, and with voting Labour it was only 0.32. Worryingly for them, the correlation between being aged 20-29 and voting for a party as unlike them as ACT was 0.25.

Taking this into account alongside the strong correlation between being young and voting Green, it appears that the big two parties are fated to fall into ever weaker positions as the Greens absorb the discontents from Labour, ACT absorbs the discontents from National and New Zealand First absorbs the discontents from the entire system.

The very youngest two age brackets obviously does not tell us about the voting preferences of those aged under 15, but they do tell us about the voting preferences of their parents and therefore gives us a clue as to what influences will be at work on the next generation.

In particular, we can see the influence that the higher birth rate of Maoris has. All of the parties generally associated with a high degree of Maori support (Maori Party, Internet MANA, New Zealand First, Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and Labour) had correlations of at least 0.45 with both of the age groups of 0-4 and 5-14 years of age.

The Maori Party and the ALCP were the strongest of these, New Zealand First and Labour were the weakest, and Internet MANA was in between.

The degree of disenfranchisement that the young suffer can be seen from the fact that there is a very strong correlation of 0.77 between median age and turnout rate in the 2014 General Election. This correlation is so strong that it speaks of a widespread perception among the young that there really is no point in voting on account of that the entire system is set up specifically to serve people other than them.

The strongest negative correlation between median age and voting for any party in 2014 was with the Labour Party, which was -0.70. The reflection of this was that the strongest positive correlation was with the National Party, which was a whopping 0.81.

The only other party that generally appealed to old people was the Conservatives. The correlation between voting for them in 2014 and median age was 0.75.

Definitively underlining the fact that the stereotype of creeping swarms of pensioners voting New Zealand First every three years is totally false, the correlation between voting New Zealand First in 2014 and median age was actually negative (although not significant) at -0.08.

The Greens, despite that they are the mutual nemesis of the New Zealand First Party, appeal to a similar average age of voter. The correlation between voting Green in 2014 and median age was -0.17.

Predictably, there were significant negative correlations between median age and voting for any of the minor Maori-heavy parties. These were Maori Party (-0.66), Internet MANA (-0.65) and ALCP (-0.55).

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, due to be published by VJM Publishing this winter.

The Many Manifestations of Kek

Kek is more than most people realise. He is not something that can be entirely understood with a five-minute Google. Very little is known about exoteric Kekism, even less about the esoteric forms. This essay is an attempt to share some insight into the esoteric elements of this tradition.

In the ancient Egyptian Ogdoad cosmogony, Kek represented the primordial darkness. Darkness is the colour used to describe the chaos from which the order of our reality arose, and Kek is therefore a chaos god that represents yin forces.

Kek is male, but in representing chaos he represents a female principle. This might explain why he is depicted in the form of a frog – because the genders of amphibians are extremely loose and indeterminate. Like a Bangkok ladyboy, the gender of a frog is not necessarily what a person might think it is.

This might also explain why the word ‘Kek’ is often used where one would expect a pronoun – because a gendered pronoun makes a firm decision about which gender the subject is and this is not appropriate for a frog chaos god.

The use of ‘Kek’ as an adjective, such as in the forms “Top Kek” or “Royal Kek”, is oddly similar in both sound and meaning to the Irish word craic, a catch-all term covering “news, gossip, fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation”.

There appears to be no actual link between ‘craic’ and ‘Kek’ despite the phonetic and semantic similarities. But that sort of weird maybe-coincidence maybe-synchronicity is just what one has to expect in one’s life as a follower of Kek.

All of this suggests that Kek himself is an original – perhaps even the archetypal – trickster god, and in this sense the cult of Kek has had many manifestations throughout history. It is said of the trickster gods that they “…violate principles of social and natural order, playfully disrupting normal life and then re-establishing it on a new basis.”

In Scandinavia, Kek manifests in the form of Loki. Loki is generally depicted as male, but little more than generalities are known about him. Fittingly for a chaos god, Loki “sometimes assists the gods and sometimes behaves in a malicious manner towards them.”

However, Loki is the also mother of an eight-legged horse, as told in the Gylfaginning. I think we can all agree that being a tranny who births octopedal horses is top kek.

Kek manifests as Maui in Maori and Polynesian folklore. His most famous exploit was beating the shit out of the Sun with a jawbone to make it go slower through the sky so that the people had more time to enjoy their day.

Maui also has a story in which he attempts to win immortality for humankind by transforming himself into a worm and slithering into the vagina of the goddess Hine-nui-te-pō, in the belief that if he can come out of her mouth then humanity would become immortal.

In the end, he is chopped in half by a set of obsidian teeth contained within the goddess’s pussy. Clearly, whoever dreamed this story up was touched by the spirit of Kek.

In Roman folklore, Kek manifests as Mercury, the patron saint of tricksters. Mercury was once tasked with escorting a nymph to the underworld but fell in love with her and ended up getting her pregnant. This is the sort of thing that regularly seems to happen to chaos gods.

Alchemically, Mercury represents the gender fluidity also represented by the frog god. Mercury is alchemically between the divine masculine represented by Gold and the divine feminine represented by Silver, and he is therefore also somewhere between the two commonly accepted poles.

In modern culture, Kek has manifested in the form of Pepe, the cartoon frog in the title image. Pepe, fittingly for a chaos god, has an unclear origin. He started to rise to prominence on 4chan and the Shroomery about a decade ago, finding a place in the mainstream consciousness in the lead up to the 2016 US Presidential Election.

He achieved this by being used in the Great Meme War that saw the defeat of Hillary “We Came, We Saw, He Died” Clinton. It was believed by followers of Kek that Clinton represented the hateful, oppressive forces of the Establishment, and that the maverick Donald Trump getting into the White House would be top kek – and so it came to pass.

But in much the same way that Kek, as chaos God, was naturally opposed by the earthly interests that tried to oppress the citizenry with an excessive degree of order, so too has Kek in his manifestation as Pepe been designated an official hate symbol by those same control freaks.

But because the meme magic of the control freaks and the dominator culture is weak, we know that this action has merely assured the place of Kek in the hearts of free-thinkers around the world.

Perhaps we can all be glad that the spirit of Kek shines brightly through into our lives once more in his manifestation as Pepe.

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Men and Women

There has been plenty of talk about the “gender gap”, which is the fact that the average Kiwi woman earns less per hour of labour than the average Kiwi man. This article looks into why this might have come about.

The correlation between being male and median personal income was on the border of statistical significance, at 0.23. That tells us that the average Kiwi male controls an income that is a fair bit larger than what the average Kiwi female controls. Looking at this on a more granular level, we can understand why.

There is very little difference between men and women when it comes to the plum jobs. The correlation between being male and having a personal income between $100-150K was 0.01 and with having a personal income of $150K+ it was 0.03.

So being a male and working in a plum job is essentially uncorrelated. However, as one goes down the income bands, it is possible to see that there are more men in middle income jobs than women, and more women in lower income jobs than men.

The strength of the correlation with being male peaks at $50-60K, where it is 0.22. A person in this income band is likely earning between $25 and $30 per hour, or at least 50 hours a week, so this is where a solid part of the full-time work force is cranking away.

As one goes even further down the income bands, however, we can see that an ever higher proportion of the workers are women. In the $30-35K income band there is a perfect absence of correlation with regard to male or female, but every income band lower than this has a positive correlation with being female.

The most significant is having a loss or no income, which has a correlation of 0.27 with being female.

By far the heaviest contributor to the fact that men occupy disproportionately more middle income bands than women is the moderately significant correlation between being male and working full-time (0.48), and the moderately significant negative correlation between being male and being unemployed (-0.48).

After all, it’s hardly suprising that a man’s paycheck is 20% bigger if he also works 20% more hours. In fact, the gap perhaps ought to be even larger than this because men work the vast majority of overtime hours.

There is no significant correlation between being male and working for a wage or salary – this was 0.11. There were, however, significant correlations between being self-employed and male (0.40) and being self-employed with employees and male (0.50).

This tells us that a disproportionate amount of the risk in the area of employment is borne by men. Women are more likely to take a safe job that had slim prospects of both advancing and of being fired or made redundant, whereas men were more likely to take entrepreneurial risks or to take on jobs in highly competitive (and highly rewarding) environment.

For example, there were significant correlations between being female and working in the healthcare and social assistance industry (0.43) and the education and training industry (0.32), and a near significant one between being female and working in administrative or support services (0.17).

In all three of these industries it is common to have a regular, secure 9 to 5 job.

On the other side of the coin, there were significant correlations between being male and working in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry (0.45), the hospitality industry (0.28), the construction industry (0.25) and the rental, hiring and real estate services industry (0.24).

All of those industries are characterised by it being common for either workers to have the option of working longer hours or being more or less forced into it. The hospitality and rental, hiring and real estate industries in particular make it easy for anyone wanting to work 60+ hours a week to do so.

So talk of a “gender gap” that evinces an instituional and endemic underpayment of women across the nation is hyperbole. The best jobs are split evenly between men and women and, below that, men earn more because they choose to work themselves to death at a much higher rate.

Somewhat surprisingly, there is a correlation of 0.42 with being male and living on the South Island. That might seem very strange until one takes into account the vastly accelerated death rate of Maori and Pacific Islander males, especially past age 50 or so. Because most of these men live on the North Island, their early deaths leave a significant imbalance of women among the remaining communities.

Other facets of this same phenomenon can be observed in the significant correlation between being female and being Maori (0.32). Obviously, as males and females are born at roughly the same rate, much of this correlation has to be explained by a greater death rate among Maori men.

Some may be interested to observe that there were significant correlations between being female and belonging to a number of religious traditions generally associated with disadvantaged people. In particular, these were significant correlations between being female and following any of Mormonism, Ratana, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Maori Christian, Pentecostalism or Christian not further defined.

The main reason for this is the tendency for women to turn to religion or spirituality after a significant male other has left their lives, particularly in the case of Maori women.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, due to be published by VJM Publishing this winter.

Did Richie McCaw Destroy International Rugby?

The Sydney Bledisloe Cup match of 2000 was a high water mark in international rugby. In front of 109,000 people, the world champion Australia team and the desperate, wounded All Blacks fought to the death like Ali and Frazier. Many who saw it said at the time it was the most extraordinary rugby match ever played, with an iconic match-winning performance from none other than Jonah Lomu.

The All Blacks prevailed on that night, 39-35, but the Wallabies would win by one point three weeks later to retain the Bledisloe Cup, and at the time it seemed like the advent of professional rugby was about to make for a titanic era of contests for this trophy.

Professional rugby seemed like it was going to bring a lot of razzamatazz to the Southern Hemisphere circuit – Super Rugby was also huge that year. The ACT Brumbies topped the table at the end of the pool stages, and ended up losing the final at home against the Canterbury Crusaders by one point.

The next year, 2001, marked the Super Rugby debut, also for the Crusaders, of one Richie Hugh McCaw. As it turned out, McCaw was not so much a rugby player as a genius that played rugby.

He only played eight minutes of Super Rugby that year, but he did play a full NPC season, and was good enough to win selection to the All Blacks’ end of year tour, where he was handed a debut against Ireland, and promptly won Man of the Match.

The next year, 2002, McCaw became a Crusaders regular. In an odd echo of the future, the Crusaders won every single match that year, taking the Super Rugby title undefeated – something never achieved before or since.

2003 might have been the end of the golden summer for Australian rugby. They lost the Bledisloe Cup, but managed to knock the All Blacks out of the World Cup, going on to take an all-conquering England team to extra time in the final.

Come 2017, and Australia has not won the Bledisloe Cup since. Richie McCaw may have retired two years ago, but in the same way that Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage to Mecca depressed the price of gold in the Middle East for decades afterwards, McCaw’s decade of almost total dominance still depresses Australian rugby.

This year’s Super Rugby table makes for confusing reading. The current leaders of the Australian conference, the Brumbies, have fewer tournament points than the current wooden spooners of the New Zealand conference, the Blues.

New Zealand rugby is so dominant that the 4th-ranked Kiwi team, the Highlanders, has only lost three games all season. Despite this, they can’t climb any higher than 4th because the Hurricanes have only lost two, the Chiefs one and the Crusaders zero.

Even worse is the effect this dominance has had on the Internet rhetoric. At the turn of the century, trans-Tasman rugby banter was between equals. In recent years, however, it has taken a darker turn: the prison rape metaphor, once only applied to descriptions of All Blacks matches against the hapless Celts, crept into summaries of Bledisloe matches.

At its nadir, the Internet rhetoric was entirely based on the degree of sexual impotence the Australian players and fans would suffer as a consequence of the losses and for how many years afterwards. The jokes were that the children of Australian players would be too ashamed to admit their paternity to their classmates.

So the question is this: was Richie McCaw so good at rugby that he actually destroyed the international game? Did he set standards so high that all other nations just gave up on hoping to ever match them?

Probably not. After all, Australia made it to the World Cup final in 2015, and they did about as well there as any other side could have hoped to have done – namely, a loss by a two-try margin.

Alexander the Great died at age 33, and within months of the same age Richie McCaw retired from international rugby. The struggle for a successor to Alexander saw his empire shatter into four pieces and then to further disintegrate.

Kieran Read now leads the All Blacks, and his side might play the role of the Seleucid Empire, the early favourites to recreate the total world domination that McCaw once achieved.

However, no order can exist indefinitely, and it is in the nature of peaks to erode into valleys. The standards set by McCaw are unlikely to be maintained for the simple reason that the men tasked with doing so will not possess McCaw’s genius.

This column believes that it is in the Australian nature, despite a decade of denial, to recognise the smell of blood at the first opportunity and to take advantage of it. Therefore, it predicts that the current sorry state of Australian rugby will not last for much longer.

And as long as one side can stand up to the All Blacks the others will always believe themselves to have a hope.

Understanding New Zealand: Internet MANA voters

As the Maori Party split away from Labour, so did the MANA Party split away from the Maori Party, and then it joined up with Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party to become the Internet MANA chimera. But who did Hone Harawira’s machine end up appealing to?

Like the Maori Party, Internet MANA appealed to Maoris. The correlations between voting Internet MANA in 2014 and with both voting Maori Party in 2014 and being Maori were 0.84.

Correspondingly, there are strong correlations between voting Internet MANA in 2014 and voting for all of the Maori-heavy parties in 2014. Between voting Internet MANA in 2014 and voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2014 the correlation was 0.76; with voting New Zealand First in 2014 it was 0.44; and with voting Labour in 2014 it was 0.41.

Curiously, Internet MANA voters were exactly as unlikely to have sympathies for National or Conservative as Maori Party voters. As with the Maori Party, the correlation between voting Internet MANA in 2014 and voting National in 2014 was -0.75, and the correlation with voting Conservative in 2014 was -0.64.

Perhaps the major demographic difference between Maori Party voters and Internet MANA ones is that the latter were slightly less Maori and slightly more Pacific Islander and Asian. The correlation between voting Internet MANA in 2014 and being a Pacific Islander was 0.07, and with being Asian it was -0.23 (compared to 0.01 and -0.30 for the correlations between these two groups and voting Maori Party).

In fact, the general demographic trend is that Internet MANA voters, despite being generally disenfranchised, are doing slightly better than Maori Party voters. Correspondingly, the correlation between voting Internet MANA in 2014 and turnout rate in 2014 was, at -0.69, slightly weaker than for the Maori Party (-0.74).

Although most of the demographic distinctions are subtle, one of the clearest is when it comes to education. The correlation between voting Internet MANA in 2014 and having no qualifications was 0.42, which was weaker than the equivalent for the Maori Party. Also, unlike with voting for the Maori Party in 2014, voting for Internet MANA in 2014 had no significant negative correlation with holding either of the two highest academic qualifications.

Further underlining the minor class differences, Internet MANA voters were marginally less likely to be on the unemployment or invalid’s benefits, and marginally more likely to be on the student allowance. Also, they were much less likely to work in manufacturing and slightly less likely to be regular tobacco smokers than Maori Party voters.

They were, however, essentially the same age. The correlation between voting Internet MANA in 2014 and median age was -0.65, making them the smallest smidgen older than Maori Party voters. This underlines the degree to which Internet MANA differentiates itself from the Maori Party primarily through subtle class differences and not age.

Curiously, Internet MANA voters were more likely to be self-employed than Maori Party voters, but were less likely to be self-employed with employees. This might reflect the degree to which Internet MANA voters, or at least a significant cadre of them, are more likely to be immigrants and therefore less likely to be established than Maoris.

It may be that, in so far as Internet MANA appeals to a newer sort of New Zealander, it also appeals to a sort of person who does not have the intergenerational poverty and trauma that many Maoris suffer from. This may explain the small differences in wealth, health and educational outcomes.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, due to be published by VJM Publishing this winter.

The Great Division at the Heart of Generation X

The 1999 film Fight Club was highly prophetic for those too young to identify with the Baby Boomers and too old to identify with the Millennials: those of us who vaguely, apathetically, identify with being called Generation X. Speaking to us in the midst of a quarter-life crisis, Tyler Durden told us what we already suspected, but dreaded being forced to accept: we are the middle children of history, no purpose, no place.

It’s true. We stand for nothing. Nothing unites us, apart from this cynicism. We have no Great War – Afghanistan and Iraq will never define our generation like Vietnam did the one before us and World War II the one before that. Very few of us fought in it, and the body count incurred simply does not compare.

Neither do we have a Great Depression.

The proportion of Baby Boomers raised in absolute poverty dwarfs the proportion of Generation X raised in absolute poverty, as the several decades of technological advancements and massive industrial and economic expansion after World War II all but eliminated childhood poverty by the 1970s, save for the unfortunates born to mentally or physically ill parents.

Where the Baby Boomers used the political system as a weapon to enslave the coming generations and to keep them working to maintain Boomer leisure and privilege, Generation X mostly refused to engage.

And where the Millennials are taking measures to overthrow the current political and economic systems and to replace them something not borne of the poverty mentality of the Boomers, again Generation X mostly refuses to engage.

In this sense, Generation X is a generation of springtime, in that we comprise the part of the sine wave where yin transforms to yang, and life begins to blossom but without direction, owing to its inexperience.

But in the same way that the springtime is a season of broken weather, so too is Generation X naturally unstable, and so too will we break apart.

But can we really like ourselves without knowing who we are, and doesn’t that require a purpose and a place?

The natural division at our heart is like this: half of us are like the Boomers, half are like the Millennials.

It might be that the Boomers end up representing the “old left” in the exact same way that they once represented the “new left” against the “old right” of the Greatest Generation, with the Silent Generation playing the role of autumn.

This suggests that half of Generation X will sell out and throw their lot in with their parents, resisting change and acting to perpetuate the same injustices on the Millennials that the Boomers imposed on them.

In this way, half of us will become the “old left”. Probably this means that, as we age and become the leaders of industry alongside the Boomers, we will advocate for more governmental control and regulation, fewer entrepreneurial freedoms and the continued importation of millions of third-world people to destroy the solidarity and so also the wages of those we employ, screaming “racism” every time a Millennial or Generation Z complains about anything.

The other half of us will become the “new right”. Probably this means that, as the Millennials also age and gain in economic and political influence, they will still look primarily to members of Generation X for immediate guidance, and those of us willing and able to fill these roles will naturally do so.

It’s very possible both that the Millennials and Generation Z, having been raised in an abundance mentality that sharply contrasts with the poverty mentality of the Boomers and their immediate predecessors, will demand a radical transformation of society and revaluation of values, and that they will look to members of Generation X for moral, philosophical and spiritual guidance.

This column predicts that half of us will succeed in reciprocating these expectations from the next generations, whereas the other half will cling to the old ways out of fear and fail.

The next generations might well be horrified at the sexual permissiveness, the suicidally reckless obsession with alcohol, the negligent attitude to the potential negative consequences of mass immigration, the indifference to the mental damage of exposure to suggestive television advertising and the brutally cognitively restrictive education system that all combine to characterise the culture that we have become used to – after all, none of these phenomena are caused by the expression of universal or eternal moral truths.

Will we stand aside for the next generation, or will we try and strangle it in the crib in order to shore up our own positions? That is the essential question that will divide Generation X over the coming decades.