Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Low-Skill Occupations

The low-skill occupations are generally made up of people who are in the demographics who are struggling. Although they are not doing as badly as beneficiaries, workers in low-skill occupations have to deal with the fact that the supply of low-skill labour is much greater than the demand for it and so wages are poor.

The wages for low-skill occupations are very poor in New Zealand. The correlation between net personal income and working as a machinery operator or driver was -0.59, and with working as a labourer it was -0.51. These are stronger correlations (only in the negative direction) than the one between net personal income and working as a manager.

Ultimately the reason for this is that working in a low-skill occupation does not take much of a personal investment in the form of an education.

The correlations between having no academic qualifications and working in a low-skill occupation were very strong: 0.85 for machinery operators and drivers and 0.82 for labourers.

Both of these fall very sharply towards the negative as academic qualifications increase. The correlation between having a Bachelor’s degree and working as a machinery operator or driver was -0.79, and the correlation between having a Bachelor’s degree and working as a labourer was -0.74.

These occupations are also the ones in which a person is most likely to be injured or to find themselves out of work for seasonal reasons or because of market fluctuations.

As a result, the correlation between working as a machinery operator or driver and being on the invalid’s benefit was 0.67, and with being on the unemployment benefit it was 0.62. The correlation between working as a labourer and being on the invalid’s benefit was 0.71, and with being on the unemployment benefit it was 0.53.

The most favoured industries for machinery operators and drivers were manufacturing (with a correlation of 0.76), transport, postal and warehousing (0.76), construction (0.48) and agriculture, forestry and fishing (0.40).

The most favoured industries for labourers were agriculture, forestry and fishing (0.77), manufacturing (0.72) and construction (0.49).

Consistent with the trend that tobacco use tends to be associated with people who have it relatively hard, the correlation between being a regular smoker and working as a machinery operator or driver was a very strong 0.82, and the correlation between being a regular smoker and working as a labourer was only slightly weaker, at 0.75.

As discussed in several other articles in this study, the immigration system favours the sort of person who is capable of paying a lot of taxes into the future, and this explicitly rules out machinery operators, drivers and labourers, because these occupations are both poorly paid and have a high risk of injury.

Consequently, the correlations between being born in New Zealand and working as a machinery operator or driver was 0.57, and with being a labourer it was 0.77.

The reason why there is a reasonably large gap between these two is because a larger proportion of Pacific Islanders work as machinery operators or drivers compared to labourers. The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and working as a machinery operator or driver was 0.31, compared to -0.19 between being a Pacific Islander and working as a labourer.

In fact, Kiwis of European descent are more likely to work as labourers than Pacific Islanders. The correlation between working as a labourer and being of European descent is 0.11. The main reason for this is probably because of all the general labour that still needs to be done on the South Island.

Being of European descent was, however, significantly negatively correlated with working as a machinery operator or driver – this was -0.31.

Maoris are heavily represented in both low-skill occupations. The correlation between being Maori and working as a machinery operator or driver was 0.66, and with being a labourer it was 0.62.

Consequently, there are relatively few Asians. The correlation between being Asian and working as a machinery operator or driver was -0.42, and with working as a labourer it was -0.67.

There was a moderately strong positive correlation of 0.53 between being a labourer and having the employment status of unpaid work in the family business. This reflects the large number of farm hands on family-run and owned farms, especially on the South Island.

*

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 and Demographics of South Islanders

The South Island is sterotyped as big, cold, old and white. And it is – but there’s more to it than just that. The voting patterns of South Islanders do not fit any neat and obvious pattern.

The most favoured political party by South Islanders were the Greens. The correlation between living on the South Island and voting Green in 2014 was 0.21. The next most favoured party was National. The correlation between living on the South Island and voting National was 0.13.

Some will find this very odd, but it might not be properly appreciated on the North Island the degree to which environmentalism is important to South Islanders, especially those in the North and West.

The correlation between living on the South Island and voting Labour in 2014 was -0.13. This is to be expected given that there is a stronger than average level of National support there. Considering that many young South Islanders vote for the Greens, it is striking that this correlation is not even more strongly negative.

Many will be surprised that the correlation between voting New Zealand First in 2014 and living on the South Island was -0.15. This surprise is because the party is inaccurately stereotyped as a party for old white bigots, whereas in reality most New Zealand First voters are Maori, and there are relatively few Maori on the South Island.

This lack of a strong Maori presence explains the negative correlations between living on the South Island and voting Maori Party in 2014 (-0.15) and with voting Internet MANA in 2014 (-0.17).

There is not, however, a negative correlation between living on the South Island and voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 2014 – this was 0.03. Even though a disproportionate number of ALCP voters are Maoris, and that disproportionately few South Islanders are Maoris, cannabis culture is extremely strong in the North and West of the South Island and very strong elsewhere.

It is true that the South Island is particularly European – the correlation between living there and being European is a moderately strong 0.51. For being Maori it was -0.26, for being a Pacific Islander it was -0.29 and for being Asian it was -0.30.

The staid, dour dependability of South Islanders might be a consequence of the heavy Scottish influence there. This is reflected by the moderately strong correlation of 0.56 between living on the South Island and being Presbytarian.

It may also be that the religious are more well-to-do on the South Island and as a result they do not have the tendency to join those movements who appeal more to the hard done by. The correlations between living on the South Island and having a particular religion was -0.39 for Mormonism, -0.34 for Ratana, -0.33 for Jehovah’s Witness, -0.33 for Pentecostal, -0.31 for Maori Christian, and -0.25 for Methodist. These were all significant.

There was also a significant positive correlation between living on the South Island and having no religion. Considering that South Islanders tend to be older and old people tend to be religious, this is a curiosity. It is best explained by the large numbers of highly religious Pacific Islanders who live on the North Island, especially Auckland.

The correlation between living on the South Island and median age was 0.27. This was significant, and probably so because the bulk of immigrants who move to New Zealand are young and they tend to move to Auckland.

This latter point was evidenced by the sharp distance between the correlation between living on the South Island and being aged 30-49 (-0.07) and the correlation between living on the South Island and being aged 50-64 (0.33).

Curiously, the correlation between living on the South Island and having a Master’s degree (-0.15) was much more negative than the correalation between living on the South Island and having a doctorate (0.10).

This is probably a consequence of the fact that most people with Master’s degrees gravitate towards the power hierarchy, which is mostly established in Wellington and Auckland, whereas people with doctorates gravitate towards where sick people are, and most sick people are elderly and more elderly live on the South Island.

South Islanders are significantly less likely to be on the unemployment benefit. The correlation between living on the South Island and being on the unemployment benefit was -0.30. Probably the main reason for this is that there are fewer South Islanders in the low-skill demographics.

South Islanders’ choice of industry reflect that the South Island is large and sparsely populated.

The correlations between living on the South Island and working in a particular industry were -0.32 for administrative and support services and -0.29 for financial and insurance services, which reflects that the former industry is primarily based in Wellington whereas the latter is primarily based in Auckland.

These correlations were 0.43 for construction, 0.32 for retail trade and 0.23 for hospitality. The first of these reflects the Christchurch rebuild sending demand for construction workers through the roof, and the third reflects the strong tourism industry on the South Island.

Another reflection of the weight that Christchurch has in the South Island is that South Islanders love biking to work, on account of Christchurch being flat. The correlation between living on the South Island and biking to work was a moderately strong 0.54, which could reflect many things, foremost of which might be flatter land, less vehicle traffic, healthier cultural attitudes to exercise etc.

Perhaps the most definitive characteristic of people on the South Island is that they are decidely more middle to upper-middle class than the average Kiwi. This is evinced in three major ways.

The first is that there is a positive correlation between living on the South Island and being in any income band from $15-70K, and a negative correlation between living on the South Island and being in any income band from $0-15K or $70K+.

This means that, although there are more truly highpowered jobs in Auckland and Wellington than on the South Island, there are also considerably more truly broke people.

The second way is the significant positive correlation between living on the South Island and living on freehold land (0.46) and the significant negative correlation between living on the South Island and living on rented land (-0.31).

The third is the significant positive correlation between living on the South Island and being self-employed with employees (0.28). This suggests that South Islanders are more likely to start and to successfully operate a business than North Islanders.

This suggests that South Islanders have a different approach to wealth generation to North Islanders. Whereas North Islanders are more likely to become professionals and work a highly paid job without caring too much about the size of their expenses, South Islanders are more likely to work to minimise expenses first and to invest the resulting surplus.

*

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

When Politicians Start Competing For Cannabis Voters, Prohibition Is Over

Gareth Morgan showed that he is a cut above the rest of the megalomaniacs who would be king by actually changing his stance on cannabis law reform in response to the wishes of his supporters. This by itself is curious (some are calling the phenomenon “democracy”), but not as curious as the reaction.

The Greens’ health spokeswoman, Julie Anne Genter, responded to the news of Morgan’s intrusion into her political niche like a mother cat protecting her litter.

She made a social media post belittling the capacity of The Opportunity Party to enact reform, calling it “some tiny new political party”, and accused them of planning to be “working with National”.

This marks the first time, ever, that politicians in New Zealand have acted like medicinal cannabis users were normal people whose rights were worth defending.

The usual approach, the English-Little-Peters-Shaw approach, is to stand aside and let medicinal cannabis users die for fear of losing votes from people who want to kill them.

If the politicians, the shallowest of shallow whores, are competing for cannabis law reform votes, then it’s fair to say that the cracks in the dam are appearing and that it’s time for those downstream to evacuate.

The next move will be a leader of a big four party stating on the record that cannabis prohibition is unjust. Any consideration of compensation will be out of the question, because to raise the point suggests that politicians can be held accountable for their crimes against the people, but someone might suggest that medicinal cannabis even be subsidised like other medicines.

Maybe one day a politician will do a medicinal cannabis user the honour of having a photo taken with them.

The ridiculous thing will be that, when all of this happens, the politiwhore in question will try to give the impression that they are bravely leading the charge, even though the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party was saying what Julie Anne Genter is now saying since 1996 – 21 years ago.

It’s taken 21 years to even get this far, where there are so many as two second-tier politicians calling for cannabis law reform. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another 21 for a leader of one of the big four parties to find the courage to say something.

Probably the next advance for cannabis law reform in New Zealand will be for someone in the ACT or Labour parties to champion the issue. Damian O’Connor has already dipped a nervous toe in the water, and if he sees the centrist Morgan take up the issue he could well interpret that as a green light to go further.

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Beneficiaries

The four benefits split neatly into a well-spaced hierarchy of disenfranchisement, with the unemployed being the most disenfranchised, the invalids the next most, the students the next most, and the pensioners the least.

The stereotype about high numbers of Maoris being on the unemployment benefit is true to a degree – the correlation between being Maori and being on the unemployment benefit was an extremely strong 0.91. The correlation between being Maori and being on the invalid’s benefit was also very strong – this was 0.77.

Of course, these stereotypes also exist for Pacific Islanders, but here the correlations are not so strong. The correlations between being a Pacific Islander and being on the invalid’s benefit is -0.00, and with being on the unemployment benefit it is 0.25.

Probably the reason why these two correlations are weaker is that the immigration system prioritises the sort of person who can work and pay taxes for a long time into the future, and these people generally have not been here long enough to claim a pension yet.

A strong correlation exists between being of European descent and being on the pension – this was 0.65. This is very curious if one considers the commonly held belief that Maoris and Islanders are responsible for a disproportionate amount of welfare spending.

In fact, a tremendous amount of welfare spending goes to paying Pakeha people a pension, and if one considers that many of these people are taking advantage of the system by retiring well before they become incapable of further productive work, it has to be asked in which direction the stereotypes really ought to go.

Interestingly, although being Asian has a weaker negative correlation with being on the unemployment benefit (-0.25) than being of European descent and being on the unemployment benefit (-0.53), the negative correlation between being Asian and being on the invalid’s benefit (-0.56) is much stronger than for being of European descent and being on the invalid’s benefit (-0.12).

Probably the reason for this is an invalid is unlikely to be granted clearance to move to New Zealand, and so the Asian population in New Zealand, a large number of who are foreign-born, will have had a number of invalids selected out of them.

The unemployed and invalids love to smoke cigarettes. This is perhaps obvious to anyone who has spent a lot of time on a benefit, for a number of reasons. For one, there isn’t much else to do; for another, all of the other beneficiaries probably smoke tobacco or heavier.

The correlation between being on the unemployment benefit and being a regular tobacco smoker is an extremely strong 0.87, and between being on the invalid’s benefit and being a regular tobacco smoker is, at 0.85, almost as strong.

Part of the untold story is the fact that people smoke tobacco primarily for mental health reasons (this has been covered elsewhere by VJM Publishing). So it’s not surprising that the unemployed and the invalid’s beneficiaries – the two groups that collectively suffer the majority of the severe mental illness in this country – use the most mental health medicine.

A statistic that many will find surprising is that there is a positive correlation with being female and being on any of the benefit types. The correlation between being female and being on the pension is the weakest, at 0.03, and the correlation between being female and being on the student allowance is, at 0.21, also not significant.

There were significant correlations between being female and being on either the unemployment benefit (0.39) or the invalid’s benefit (0.26). These correlations are both strong enough that a considerable amount of the wage gap between men and women could be explained by them alone.

As mentioned above, it’s difficult for invalids to get into New Zealand as immigrants because the points system prioritises those who are capable of working and paying the greatest amount of taxes. As a consequence, there is a strong positive correlation of 0.74 between being born in New Zealand and being on the invalid’s benefit.

South Islanders are significantly less likely to be on the unemployment benefit. The correlation between living on the South Island and being on the unemployment benefit was 0.30, which probably reflects a cultural appreciation of industriousness, as none of the correlations with other benefit types were significant.

There is a striking curiosity when it comes to benefits and median age. The correlation between median age and being on the unemployment benefit (-0.73) is actually stronger than the correlation between median age and being on the student allowance (-0.70).

This tells is that, as young as students tend to be, the unemployed tend to be even younger. This probably reflects the fact that it takes a certain amount of time to learn the life skills needed to be employable.

*

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

A Look at the Black Caps Squad For The Champions Trophy

The Black Caps squad for June’s Champions Trophy has been announced. The full squad is: Kane Williamson (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Neil Broom, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitch McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Jeetan Patel, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee and Ross Taylor.

The Black Caps have a tough group to get out of. They must qualify in the top two of the pool to progress, and their group of four contains world champions Australia, home favourites England, and giant-killers Bangladesh. Finishing last is a realistic possibility.

Matt Henry might be the big omission from the squad. Over his 30-match career Henry has 58 wickets at 25.10, which makes the case for his inclusion about as compelling as the case for Trent Boult before the 2015 CWC. It is certainly a significantly better record than any of McClenaghan, Milne and even Southee.

Despite this, the Black Caps pace battery will be very strong. It looks as though the pace bowling attack will be based around Trent Boult (as could be expected up until the 2023 CWC), with Adam Milne returning to his pre-CWC injury third seamer role and one of McClenaghan or Southee sharing the new ball.

Adam Milne has the potential to be a tremendous bowler, as he has both the pace and accuracy. All he needs to learn is the subtlety that divides the cricket master from the journeyman and New Zealand will have another weapon in the bag.

Mitch McClenaghan has surprised a lot of people and continues to do so. He has been excellent for the Mumbai Indians in this season’s IPL and the Black Caps selection panel appears to believe that this white-ball success will translate well to English conditions.

English conditions will also suit the tricky Tim Southee. So in all cases, Kane Williamson knows he has 30 overs of top-drawer pace bowling available to him.

The Guptill-Williamson-Taylor axis comprises three of New Zealand’s best ODI batsmen ever and, if anything, these three players are better than the ones that took the Black Caps to a CWC final. So most of the top order picks itself.

Tom Latham is enduring a horror season with the bat, but he is still likely to open the batting alongside Guptill. His current average of just under 30 might make his place in the order look questionable, but with six Test centuries by age 25, his experience and skill against the new ball will be useful in English conditions with high levels of lateral movement.

The real selection questions are around the middle order.

The Black Caps are yet to find a dependable replacement for Grant Elliott, although the squad does include a number of possibilities. Neil Broom might be considered the front-runner for the position but Jimmy Neesham has recently been surprisingly good in the last batsman’s position.

Any number of players could take the allrounder’s position at 6. Probably the Black Caps will go with Corey Anderson, whose awful run with injuries seems to be over. Anderson, like McClenaghan, has been impressive in the IPL, and Williamson ought to be able to depend on him for four overs at least.

The other allrounder’s position at 7 is another open question. If Tom Latham opens the batting, there may be little advantage in choosing Luke Ronchi at 7, as Ronchi has been very poor with the bat for a long time and does not offer more than Latham with the gloves.

Mitchell Santner might have fallen out of favour slightly in the regard of the current set-up, and this could mean that Colin de Grandhomme takes his place as the bowling all-rounder, if the brains trust decides to go with Luke Ronchi at 7.

Given the strength of the top order with the bat, the smart thing to do might to pack the middle order with hard-hitting allrounders.

Likely team for the first match versus Australia on the 2nd of June, starting at 9.30p.m. New Zealand Time:

1. Martin Guptill
2. Tom Latham (wk)
3. Kane Williamson (c)
4. Ross Taylor
5. Neil Broom
6. Corey Anderson (5/6)
7. Colin de Grandhomme (5/6)
8. Mitchell Santner (4)
9. Mitchell McClenaghan (2)
10. Adam Milne (3)
11. Trent Boult (1)

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Turnout Rate

Examining the demographics of the turnout rate in 2014 gives us an opportunity to look closely at the general disenfranchisement rule. If it holds true, as we have suggested so far, that the turnout rate of any given demographic will be proportionate to the degree that this demographic can expect to have its wishes met by the political establishment, then this section ought to tell us a lot about the sort of person who runs New Zealand.

Commensurate with the fact that all Kiwi Prime Ministers up until now have been Pakeha, there is a very strong correlation of 0.71 with being of European descent and turnout rate in 2014. This was not only the strongest but the only correlation of its kind that was positive.

The correlation with turnout rate in 2014 was -0.10 for being Asian, -0.44 for being a Pacific Islander and -0.77 for being Maori. The correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and being Maori is so strongly negative that barely half of all eligible Maoris voted in 2014.

Pacific Islanders are disenfranchised by poverty and poor education to a similar degree to Maoris, but as a consequence of being relatively recent immigrants they do not have the intergenerational trauma that Maoris do.

Predictably, then, the correlations between turnout rate and religion reflects the religious proclivities of the various ethnicities.

The religious beliefs that had the strongest positive correlations with turnout rate in 2014 were Anglicanism (0.41), Presbytarianism (0.32), Brethren (0.32) and Judaism (0.30).

The religious beliefs that had the strongest negative correlations with turnout rate in 2014 were Mormonism (-0.68), Ratana (-0.68), Maori Christian (-0.64) and Jehovah’s Witness (-0.57).

Interestingly, there was a significant positive correlation of 0.24 between having no religion and turnout rate in 2014. This contradicts the glibly accepted wisdom that the religious like to vote and the irreligious do not – in reality there are more fundamental factors in play.

What supports the accepted wisdom is the very strong positive correlation of 0.77 between turnout rate in 2014 and median age. Old people love to vote: indeed, for many of them it is the very highlight of their year. It should, however, be noted that the strength of this correlation is mostly an artifact of needing to be eighteen years old in order to cast a vote.

In fact, for people in the 20 to 29 age bracket, the correlation with turnout rate in 2014 was -0.21, which was negative but not significant.

One trend is very clear: that the more educated a person is the more likely they are to be engaged with the political system. This directly follows the general enfranchisement rule, considering that a Kiwi with a degree is vastly more likely to work in the higher levels of government, and one with an advanced degree even more so.

The correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and having no qualifications was -0.46. This is not particularly strong, but if one considers that most people with no qualifications are old and that old people love to vote, one can guess that very few young people with no qualifications vote at all.

On the other hand, the correlations between turnout rate in 2014 and having a degree were significantly positive for all degrees. Between turnout rate in 2014 and having a doctorate the correlation was 0.45. As for no qualifications, this correlation is partially an artifact of the relatively recent expansion of the tertiary education system, one consequence of which is the relative youth of higher degree holders.

The correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and being on the pension ws 0.51, which, as mentioned above, reflects that many pensioners still command a considerable amount of wealth and are very engaged in the direction of the political system, despite no longer working.

One result that some might find surprising is that the correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and being on the invalid’s benefit (-0.53) is not as strong as the correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and being on the unemployment benefit (-0.76). This could be surprising because it could reasonably be expected that an invalid is more severely disenfranchised than someone who could conceivably have a full-time job next week.

The difference is that the class of unemployed in New Zealand are disproportionately drawn from the generally disenfranchised – the poor, the young, the Maori etc. The class of invalids, by contrast, are generally more average people who have fallen ill due to injury, an unfortunate genetic condition or mental illness. This means that they are drawn more evenly from all social classes and ethnic groups.

The correlation between being on the pension and turnout rate in 2014 is so strong, and these pensioners so numerous, that there are negative correlations between turnout rate in 2014 and working in most industries. The strongest were in transport, postal and warehousing (-0.64), manufacturing (-0.51) and administrative and support services (-0.44).

The only significant positive correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and working in any industry was with the exceptionally not disenfranchised professional, scientific and technical services, which was 0.28.

Men vote significantly more than women, which follows the general disenfranchisement rule. The correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and being male was 0.29, which perhaps reflects a weakly-held folk belief that politics is a man’s business and a man’s world.

Curiously, being born in New Zealand had a significant negative correlation of -0.24 with turnout rate in 2014. That the foreign-born vote more than Kiwis might surprise many. However, if one considers that being born in Britain has a correlation of 0.81 with turnout rate in 2014, and that almost all Maoris in New Zealand are New Zealand-born, the reasons why become apparent.

Predictably, the poor do not vote as often as the wealthy. All of the income bands from $0-50K had significant negative correlations without turnout rate in 2014, except for the student bands of $15-25K. All of the income bands above $70K had significant positive correlations with turnout rate in 2014.

The above statistic might be the single most important correlation detailed in this study.

If the most basic division of New Zealand society is into haves and have-nots, the next most basic might be into the have-a-lots, the have-a-littles, and the have-bugger-alls. This neatly reflects the three basic kinds of land tenure: freehold, mortgage, and renting.

As a consequence, the correlations between turnout rate in 2014 and tenure of dwelling are 0.72 for freehold land, -0.66 for rented land and an even -0.00 for mortgaged land.

One final curiousity is the correlation of 0.21 between turnout rate in 2014 and living in the South Island. This is much stronger than most people might expect, and possibly reflects the degree to which old money from the early settlement of the South Island still enfranchises the inheritors of it.

*

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

The Lesson of ANZAC Day is to Not Follow Leaders

The reason why ANZAC Day is so important to the nations of Australia and New Zealand was that it was the day we became aware of exactly how little regard we were held by the British commanders. It was therefore the day we decided to look to ourselves for self-regard: the birth of the national consciousness.

This is why ANZAC Day is celebrated to the degree that it is in both New Zealand and Australia even today, a century after the landings at ANZAC Cove.

The day marks the moment that we decided we were good enough to stand on our own merits as New Zealand and Australia, and not merely as colonies of Britain, because the British did not hold us in the regard we deserved.

The difficulty is this – a century later, our own leaders, despite being elected from among ourselves, treat us with equally little regard. In fact, our own leaders treat us so poorly that we’re now doing worse than many of the countries we have defeated in war within the past century.

Germany and Japan today both have a higher standard of living than the Anglosphere – their defeat in World War Two made it possible to clean out the entrenched corruption in the political systems of these countries, laying the foundation for socio-economic success.

Contrast that to the West, where the victory of World War Two was taken as a sign that God had blessed us. Not only were we correct, but our entire social order was perfect, right down to the degree to which labour relations favoured capital interests.

The symbol of ANZAC Day is the poppy, the reason being that the poppy is used to make morphine, and morphine was raised to an almost holy status after World War One because for an injured soldier its administration was like a gift from heaven.

For the soldiers who risked so much to bring freedom to people, and who felt first-hand the degree to which medicine can prevent human misery, it must be a bitter pill to swallow that the governments they fought for are putting their descendants in cages for exercising their right to use medicinal plants.

In much the same way that morphine brought relief to those whose bodies had been shattered by bullets and shrapnel, other plant medicines bring relief to those whose minds have been shattered by abuse and neglect.

Cannabis is now legal in 29 American states as a recognised medicine, including for post-traumatic stress disorder, the mental illness that the ANZACs would have called shellshock. But the New Zealand Government will not even discuss changing the cannabis laws here.

MDMA is also being currently trialled after showing promise in treating PTSD, psilocybin is currently being trialled after showing promise in treating death anxiety, ibogaine is currently being trialled after showing promise in treating drug addiction and ayahuasca is currently being trialled after showing promise in treating depression. But anyone using any of these plant medicines in New Zealand risks getting put in a cage for many years by the Government.

It’s hardly plausible that the men that signed up to fight Hitler did so to protect a political system that would put their grandchildren in cages for using medicinal cannabis. Yet, here we are. We would have more freedom today if the ANZACs had shot a few of their own politicians.

The lesson of ANZAC Day is this. Never, ever follow the dictates of people who claim to rule you and who claim to be in charge of you, no matter how urgent the need is claimed to be, no matter how many flags they wave, no matter what authority they claim to be speaking with, no matter how malicious the enemy is claimed to be, no matter how much jeering, threatening, mocking, insulting and coercing they do.

Anyone who is not willing to treat you as an equal is your enemy.

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Labour Force Status

Here’s one correlation that won’t surprise anyone: the correlation between working full time and net personal income is a very strong 0.80. It is to no-one’s surprise that the people who do the bulk of the work earn the bulk of the income.

The correlation between being unemployed and net personal income is -0.54. That is not as strong as some might have thought, perhaps because the unemployment benefit draws a line under how poor it is possible to be under normal circumstances.

Contrary to what is arguably the biggest stereotype in New Zealand, the difference between Kiwis of European descent and Maoris in likelihood to work a full-time job is not that large. The correlation between working full-time and being of European descent was a significantly positive 0.29, but the correlation between working full-time and being Maori was not significant, at -0.22.

In fact, Maoris were more likely to be in full-time employment than the average Kiwi of Pacific Island descent. The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and being in full-time work was significantly negative at -0.29.

The big difference was in the rate of part-time employment among Kiwis of European descent. The correlation between working part-time and being of European descent was a very strong 0.83. This can mostly be explained with reference to the moderately strong correlation between working part-time and median age, which was 0.50.

In particular, there is a big cultural difference between Kiwis of European descent and Maoris when it comes to post-working life options. When a Paheka winds down from the peak of their career, they tend to take on part-time work; when a Maori winds down from the peak of their career, they tend to take on childcare duties for grandchildren or other family.

Pacific Islanders who immigrate to New Zealand generally do so to work, and the next generation that grows up in New Zealand does so with the unemployment rates that could be expected from the general level of disenfranchisement of that demographic. This explains why they there is an extremely strong negative correlation of -0.82 between being a Pacific Islander and working part-time.

Curiously, being of no religion had a stronger positive correlation with working full-time (0.40) than any of the 20 religious orientations in this study. The only religious traditions with the strongest positive correlations with working full-time were Judaism (0.28), Catholicism (0.22), Buddhism (0.13), Presbytarianism (0.09) and being a Baptist (0.01). All others were negative.

Another curiosity is that the correlation between working full-time and median age was 0.01, suggesting that working full-time is the default condition of a New Zealander.

The age bracket with the strongest positive correlation with working full-time was the 30 to 49 age bracket – this was 0.71. Interestingly, the correlation with working full-time was higher for the 20 to 29 age bracket (0.12) than for the 50 to 64 age bracket (0.00) – which puts paid to the myth of lazy youth.

The correlations with working part-time are strongest for the two oldest age brackets. With the 50 to 64 age bracket it was 0.59, and with the 65+ age bracket it was 0.49.

Another striking trend was that the better educated a person is, the more likely they are to work full-time.

Having no qualifications was the only educational level to have a significant negative correlation with working full-time – this was -0.37. For all of the people whose highest qualification was achieved at secondary school, there was no significant trend either way.

All groups of people with tertiary educations had significantly positive correlations with working full-time, the strongest being between working full-time and having an Honours degree (0.47).

Some industries were clearly more likely to employ full-time workers than others. The strongest significantly positive correlations with working full-time were with arts and recreation services (0.53), professional, scientific and technical services (0.52), financial and insurance services (0.48) and information media and telecommunications (0.44).

This probably reflects the fact that people working in these industries are high-value workers and these industries are paid well, and so there is an economic incentive for them to work as many hours as possible.

The strongest significantly positive correlations with working part-time were with agriculture, forestry and fishing (0.46), retail trade (0.38), construction (0.36) and rental, real estate and hiring services (0.35), usually for opposite reasons to those given in the above paragraph.

All of the current rhetoric about the pay gap can be dismissed with reference to one statistic: the correlation of 0.48 between working full-time and being male. There is also a significant positive correlation between working part-time and being male. Together this tells us that the majority of the paid labour performed in New Zealand is performed by men.

There is a correlation of 0.74 with being a regular tobacco smoker and being unemployed. This is very strong and hints at a number of things: being unemployed is boring, the same class of people that doesn’t work also smokes and many people who are unemployed are rendered so by psychological conditions that tobacco smoking might alleviate.

There is a significant positive correlation between being born in New Zealand and both working part-time (0.46) and being unemployed (0.26). This indicates the degree to which our immigration system prioritises letting in people who look like they have high long-term productive potential.

A significant positive correlation exists between both working full-time and taking a bus to work (0.39) and working part-time and biking to work (0.40). This reflects the fact that many more job oportunities are available in the big cities that also have bus networks, as opposed to the smaller centres in which it is more pleasant to cycle.

*

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