Snapshot | New Zealand

Talk of the town in New Zealand

Not everyone is equal before the healthcare system in New Zealand. Maori are now to receive better care
A boy is sitting in a car. His top is pushed up over his shoulder. A woman is sitting next to him. She has her arm around the boy's shoulder. A man is standing next to the open car door. The syringe in his right hand inoculates the boy. Everyone is wearing a health mask.

Māori at the vaccination drive-in. The vaccination rate of Māori is lower than average


In New Zealand right now many people are talking about the health system and its unfair treatment of Māori people.

Even before the corona era, people belonging to indigenous groups on average died seven years before other New Zealanders. Racial discrimination in the health sector currently contributes to inadequate treatment for Māori people. There are also lower Covid-19 vaccination rates among Māori. This inequality is something that a new dedicated Māori Health Authority hopes to change, starting in July. The new authority is intended to put Māori healthcare in the hands of Māori health leaders and practitioners. It should have power to fund dedicated health services, monitor Māori health and set national policy.

Critics have derided the new system as segregation, but as Māori know all too well, the “one system for all” approach has been failing them for decades. Back in 1840, New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, promised co-governance between Māori and the British Crown.