Cities and Indigenous Communities

The Health and Wellbeing of Urban Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand

Authored by: John Ryks , Naomi Simmonds , Jesse Whitehead

Handbook of Global Urban Health

Print publication date:  May  2019
Online publication date:  May  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138206250
eBook ISBN: 9781315465456
Adobe ISBN:


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In Aotearoa New Zealand, the migration of Māori from rural to urban areas has been recognised as one of the most rapid internal migrations by a population globally, partly owing to the New Zealand government encouraging Māori to urban areas to boost employment following the Second World War. This migration, combined with the already resident Māori population that had ancestral links to areas experiencing rapid urbanisation, resulted in a unique and heterogeneous urban Māori population. In contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand, the ongoing effects of colonisation and the failure of mainstream policies and services to cater to the needs of Māori generally have meant that urban Māori experience poorer health outcomes compared to other New Zealanders. However, as this chapter shows, new models of understanding and responding to Māori health needs that are by Māori, and for Māori, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, have the potential to address health inequities and promote self-determination.

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