Inequalities in child health between tamariki Māori and non-Māori are largely preventable and unnecessary. An example is rheumatic fever, where tamariki Māori are 30 times more likely to contract the disease than non-Māori. Being ill as a child has a big impact on school attendance and outcomes, and it may cause lifelong disability or illness. There are high costs involved, for the health system, society and to whānau. This study aimed to estimate how much not doing anything to reduce child health inequities really costs us.
Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga is pleased to invest $1.5 million over three years in this research initiative, with a tripartite agreement between the University of Auckland, Victoria University of Wellington and University of Otago. Two inspiring Māori researchers have been chosen to lead the initiative; Dr Rawinia Higgins, School of Māori Studies, Victoria University of Wellington and Associate Professor Poia Rewi, School of Māori, Pacific, and Indigenous Studies, University of Otago.
This project is contributing to the key policy area of whānau ora/ family wellbeing via new analysis of the wealth of data contained in the six national household censuses of 1981 to 2006. Indicators of family wellbeing have been developed to identify trends across 25 years with the team having produced several reports and publications on measuring changes and key factors affecting family and whānau wellbeing.