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Warrior Gene Claims Slammed by Maori

Maori leaders have slammed claims that Maoris carry a "warrior" gene which make them more prone to violence, risky behaviour and criminal acts, terming such claims// as dangerous and inflammatory.

According to New Zealand researche, a genetic epidemiologist at Environmental Science and Research, Dr Rod Lea and his colleagues, Maori men have a "striking over-representation" of monoamine oxidase, often referred to as the warrior gene, which is said to be strongly associated with aggressive behaviour.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia dismissed any such suggestions of Maoris being genetically inclined to violence and criminal acts.

She said, ‘This is incredible. I realise that violence is an issue to us, but there are very common factors as well with violence which are not really related to race.’

While the Maoris’ predisposition to alcoholism was common knowledge, Turia said that it was a big leap to include violent tendencies in that.

She said, "I've never felt criminally inclined myself and I'm very pleased to say that the majority of Maori people don't feel criminally inclined."

Author of Once Were Warriors, Alan Duff said the theories put forth by Leacould be repudiated by examples of Maori being raised in non-Maori environments who became super-violent or non-violent.

He said, "I've always had a bit of a dilemma about the nature-nurture thing.I would say that the last thing that we need is another excuse or another reason for Maori dominating in the violence stakes and all the bad stats."

The director of the Christchurch School of Medicine's Maori Indigenous Health Unit, Suzanne Pitama, said, ‘Every person is a result of complex factors and I think that it's too easy to kind of just blame one thing. There are a whole lot of things that contribute to violence in Maori communities’

Lea stated that unpublished studies had proved that Maori had the highest prevalence of
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