Social wellbeing of selected demographic groups

Social wellbeing outcomes for Māori

Māori males and females have had consistently lower life expectancy than non-Māori males and females since the 1950s. However, between 2005–2007 and 2012–2014, Māori males and females had the highest increase in life expectancy at birth compared with other ethnic groups. The gap between Māori and non-Māori life expectancy has also narrowed over time.

Obesity proportions rose for both Māori adults and children between 2006/2007 and 2013/2014. Māori suicide rates were significantly higher than non-Māori rates in 2012, although small numbers make trends hard to ascertain. While cigarette smoking rates for Māori remained relatively stable between 2006/2007 and 2013/2014, the rate has not decreased like that of other ethnic groups. When compared with other ethnic groups, Māori had the highest proportion of potentially hazardous drinkers across all survey periods from 2006/2007 to 2013/2014. Over half of Māori met physical activity guidelines in 2013/2014 and, while similar to the European/Other group, the proportion has dropped since 2006/2007.

Māori have made significant gains in education in the last decade or so. There has been continued improvement in early education participation for Māori children following the introduction of 20 hours free ECE in 2007. While starting from a lower rate than other ethnic groups, Māori students have made greater gains in the proportion leaving school with NCEA L2 or above since 2009. The proportion of adults with an educational qualification of at least NCEA L2 and Bachelor’s degree or higher also improved for Māori between 2009 and 2014.

The Global Financial Crisis had a significant impact on Māori. Between 2008 and 2009, there was a large jump in the Māori unemployment rate, though in recent years there has been a recovery. Similarly, the employment rate has decreased from 2008, but rose between 2013 and 2014.

Real median hourly earnings for Māori remained essentially unchanged in the last five years, partly as a result of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Māori have higher work-related injury rates compared with non-Māori across the period 2012–2014. The proportions of Māori living in crowded houses declined at each census since 1986.

Māori are well represented in government, with the proportion of elected Māori Members of Parliament exceeding the Māori share of the New Zealand population in 2014. This proportion has been on the increase since 1984.

In terms of language retention, the proportion of Māori who could hold an everyday conversation in te reo Māori declined between 2006 and 2013.

Māori were less likely to report having the right amount of free time in the last four weeks when compared with other ethnic groups, with proportions declining between 2008 and 2012. After Pacific peoples, Māori had the highest proportion of people who attended or actively participated in at least one arts event in the last 12 months. These proportions have generally increased between 2005 and 2014.

Although Māori were more likely to report having a crime committed against them in the last 12 months when compared with other ethnic groups, there has been a reduction in this proportion since 2008.

Between 2006 and 2013, there were large increases in internet access in the household for Māori and smaller gains in telephone access, although access to the internet was much lower when compared with the total population. Māori were the least likely of all ethnic groups to say the amount of contact they had with family and friends was “about right” in 2012.