24 Jun 2015

Disabled Maori more disadvantaged - survey

7:01 am on 24 June 2015

The lives of disabled Māori have come under the spotlight with He haua Maori - Findings from the 2013 Disability Survey.

It found one in four Māori are disabled.

The Statistics New Zealand survey showed that while many disabled Māori enjoyed good levels of material well-being and quality of life, overall they tended to fare worse that non-disabled Māori.

Just over half of those disabled were working, but their incomes were lower than for others, with two-thirds having an annual income of $30,000 or less.

A quarter said their income was not sufficient to meet everyday needs.

Problems with housing were more common for disabled than non-disabled Māori, particularly cold and damp living conditions.

Four in ten disabled Māori adults had no formal educational qualifications, which was almost double the proportion of non-disabled Māori.

Experiences of discrimination were also more common among disabled Māori adults.

Over a third of disabled Māori say their health is excellent or very good, while just under a third rated their health as fair or poor.

While almost all disabled Māori adults felt safe in their neighbourhood during the day, they were less likely than other Māori to go out in their neighbourhood alone after dark, and less likely to feel safe doing so.

The vast majority of disabled Māori adults had contact with family and friends in the previous four weeks, and most were satisfied with the amount of contact.

Disabled Māori adults and children were less likely to participate in many popular leisure activities compared with their non-disabled peers.

Labour Market and Household Statistics Manager Diane Ramsay said the information gathered was critical in promoting understanding of the issues faced by disabled Māori and in monitoring progress towards the goal of the Māori Disability Action Plan,Whaia Te Ao Marama, to improve the quality of life for disabled tāngata whenua.