Māori Wellbeing | The Salvation Army

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Māori Wellbeing



There were fewer signs of improvement in outcomes for Māori during 2023, or of significant progress in reducing inequity than in 2022. On a number of indicators, longer-term positive trends in outcomes for Māori have halted in the latest annual data. These include unemployment, imprisonment, drug convictions, teenage pregnancies and youth charges, although it remains to be seen whether these are temporary changes or signs of sustained reversal.

On a more positive note, improving outcomes and reduced disparity can be seen in personal incomes, where average weekly incomes are rising and rose more for Māori than non-Māori, reducing the disparity in earnings to less than 10 percent in 2023. The rates of hazardous drinking reduced in 2023 and fell significantly for Māori (who experience much higher rates of hazardous drinking), contributing to reduced disparity on this measure.

Imprisonment rates for Māori halted their long-term decline, and Māori are still nearly seven times more likely to be imprisoned than non-Māori. Greater progress has been made with reimprisonment rates, which are down below 40 percent after 24 months, reducing the disparity with non-Māori.

There were fewer tamariki Māori in state care in 2023, but two-thirds of all children in care are Māori.

Education outcomes for the most recent data from 2022 continued to be heavily impacted by Covid-19 disruptions, as well as natural disasters in some regions. While the number of Māori students achieving at least NCEA fell, as did those achieving UE, the five percent of Māori students attending schools teaching predominantly in te reo Māori achieved outcomes showing no disparity when compared to all school students.

Youth offending rates rose for rangatahi Māori in 2023, but the disparity in offending rates reduced due to a proportionately higher increase in offending rates for non-Māori.

Housing outcomes impact Māori more than non-Māori overall, because Māori make up half of those waiting for social housing, but during 2023 there were fewer Māori households waiting for social housing compared with 2022. Rising unemployment also had a bigger impact on Māori who already experience rates more than twice that of other ethnicities. There was also a small increase in the proportion of whānau/families reporting that they are doing badly or not well.

He Ara Waiora

This commentary uses He Ara Waiora wellbeing framework to group outcome measures from across the five areas covered in the State of the Nation 2024 report into four domains of wellbeing: mana āheinga (capability, resources and skills), mana tauutuutu (reciprocity and social cohesion), mana tuku iho (sense of identity and belonging) and mana whanake (growth and intergenerational prosperity). These four domains express aspects of wellbeing that Māori view as essential to fulfilled lives.

Updated data was not available for key aspects of mana tuku iho—a sense of cultural identity and belonging, including the ease of expressing identity and the ability to use te reo Māori.


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