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NZ Disability Survey Snapshot 2 Mäori

New Zealand Disability Survey Snapshot 2 Mäori


One in five people of Mäori ethnicity has a disability.

Mäori boys (0 to 14 years) are more likely to have a disability than Mäori girls.

Physical disabilities are the most common type of disability reported by Mäori adults.

Disease or illness is the most common cause of disability for Mäori.

Mäori adults with disabilities are less likely to be in the labour force than Mäori adults without disabilities.

There are few Mäori with disabilities in residential care.

1. Who has a disability?

An estimated 107,200 Mäori reported having a disability in 2001. This means one in five Mäori has a disability. The disability rate for all New Zealanders is the same.

Disability increases with age. Fifteen percent of Mäori children (0 to 14 years) reported a disability, compared with 19 percent of Mäori aged 15 to 44 years and 34 percent of Mäori aged 45 to 64 years. Just over 60 percent or Mäori aged 65 and over reported having a disability.

Sixteen percent of Mäori boys (0 to 14 years) reported a disability, compared with 13 percent of Mäori girls in the same age group.

At older ages the disability rates are higher among females than males. Nearly 30 percent of Mäori men aged 45 to 64 years reported a disability, compared with nearly 40 percent of Mäori women of the same age group.

Half of Mäori adults with disabilities were partnered. This is on par with the proportion of the total Mäori adult population who were partnered (52 percent).

. What types of disabilities do Mäori have?

Nearly 60,000 disabled Mäori (55 percent) reported having more than one disability.

Physical disabilities were the leading type of disability reported by Mäori adults. Almost 48,000 (61 percent) reported this type of disability. 'Other' disabilities were the next most common, affecting 46 percent (36,400). 'Other' disabilities include speaking, learning and remembering disabilities.

The majority of disabled Mäori children (53 percent or 15,000) reported a disability classified as 'other'. This included children with speaking limitations, learning and developmental difficulties and children requiring special education due to a limitation. Sensory disabilities and chronic health problems were also common, each being reported by over one third of Mäori children with disabilities (approximately 10,000).

Forty-three percent of Mäori with disabilities were mildly affected by their disability. Forty percent were moderately affected, and the remaining 16 percent were severely limited in their activities.

The most common cause of disability was a disease or illness, reported by over 40,000 Mäori (39 percent). The next most common cause was an accident or injury reported by nearly 30,000 (28 percent).

3. How are the lives of Mäori with disabilities affected?

Unless otherwise stated, the numbers in this section relate to Mäori living in households.

Mäori adults with disabilities were less likely to be in the labour force than those without disabilities. An estimated 48 percent of Mäori adults with disabilities were not in the labour force. This means they were neither 'employed' nor 'unemployed and actively looking for work'. In contrast, 27 percent of Mäori adults without disabilities were not in the labour force at the time of the 2001 Population Census.

Mäori with disabilities were also less likely to be employed than Mäori without disabilities. Of those who stated their labour force status, 44 percent of Mäori adults with disabilities (nearly 35,000) were employed, compared with 64 percent of Mäori adults without disabilities (approximately 156,000).

Sixty percent of disabled Mäori adults had a total annual income of $15,000 or less (38,200), compared with 44 percent of Mäori adults without disabilities (95,100). This reflects the difference in the labour force situation of Mäori adults with and without disabilities, as shown in the statements above.

Almost 30 percent of Mäori adults (22,400) reported using some type of special equipment related to their disability. Seventeen percent of disabled Mäori adults (13,000) reported an unmet need for some type of special equipment.

Twenty-three percent of Mäori adults with disabilities reported an unmet need for some type of health service (18,000). This is on par with the proportion of disabled Mäori children who reported an unmet need for some type of health service (22 percent or 6,200).

Two percent of disabled adults living in residential facilities were Mäori. This is in part due to the fact that Mäori are highly concentrated in the younger age groups and the majority (92 percent) of disabled people in residential facilities are aged 65 and over. In 2001, approximately 4 percent of New Zealanders aged 65 years and above were Mäori (2001 Census of Population and Dwellings).

More information

This is the second in a series of nine snapshots presenting a selection of findings from the 2001 New Zealand Disability Survey. The survey provides an overview of disability in New Zealand. It covers people living in households and residential care facilities. The results are comparable with those from the 1996–1997 Disability Survey.

The next snapshot, "New Zealand Disability Survey Snapshot 3: Pacific Peoples", will be published on 17 May 2002. A technical report containing information about how the survey was conducted, and tables from the 1996–1997 and 2001 surveys, will be published on 30 May 2002. The technical report from the 1996–1997 survey, "Disability Counts", is available free on the Statistics New Zealand website: www.stats.govt.nz.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

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