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Living Standards of Older Maori report released

Living Standards of Older Maori report released

A report released today into Older Maori living standards will be a good tool for helping remedy social disparities and planning for the future.

The report was launched at Parliament by Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey, Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia and Senior Citizens Minister Lianne Dalziel. It was commissioned by the Ministry of Social Development and shows a relatively high rate of material disadvantage amongst older Maori and clear disparities between the living standards of older Maori and non-Maori. The prevalence of material hardship was three-four times higher than for non-Maori and about one in five older Maori faced severe difficulties.

At the report launch, Steve Maharey said disparities between Maori and non-Maori were well-known and the research gave a strong evidential base for helping to change that.

"With New Zealand's population as a whole getting older, the proportion of kaumatua is expected to increase quite quickly in the next 20-30 years. It is important that we plan ahead to help boost Maori material well-being and to have the necessary services in place to help look after them and all New Zealanders. This report gives us good directions to move in," Steve Maharey said.

The research team was led by Mason Durie, head of Maori Studies at Massey University, and the development of the measurement systems and the review of findings was done in consultation with Maori research groups. It is expected that the bicultural partnership model used for the research will be a valuable tool for further research in this field.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says while this report focuses on the living standards of older Maori, they cannot be separated out from their whanau. They are the guardians of knowledge on which our younger generations will build their future. Government must have accurate and relevant information from which solutions that focus on 'whanau ora' - 'whanau health and wellbeing' - can be developed. The government's focus on Maori development aims to improve all Maori living standards, and this report contributes to that.

Senior Citizens Minister Lianne Dalziel said the report would help achieve a better understanding of where government can concentrate its efforts to more effectively meet the needs of older New Zealanders, and is an important contribution to the New Zealand Positive Ageing Strategy.

The report is the second set of results from an extensive and ongoing research project led by the Ministry of Social Development. The first set, released in July last year, looked at the Living Standards of Older New Zealanders in general.

For the document click here…

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