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Maori in New Zealand: A case study of socio-economic integration

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The International Labour Review, 76

Published Year Read Publication

Beaglehole, the first professor of psychology in New Zealand, conducts a detailed case study on the socio-economic integration of the Māori population in New Zealand.

He premises this analysis by noting that Māori have had to adapt to ‘4,000 years of history’ in under a 100 years and that both sides have shown ‘good sense and adaptability’, indicating that this work is a product of its age, though despite these limitations the paper provides useful information, including population numbers, mortality rates, education, employment and occupations. The author employs a comprehensive approach, examining various facets of Māori life, including economic participation, social structures, and integration into the broader society. Beaglehole draws on a range of data sources and employs both quantitative and qualitative methods to analyse the challenges and opportunities faced by the Māori community in the mid-20th century. Beaglehole discusses the evolution of the Māori community from a primarily rural lifestyle towards increased urbanisation, highlighting the resultant challenges and opportunities. He emphasises the impact of education on socio-economic progress, noting a significant disparity between Māori and European New Zealanders in terms of educational attainment and subsequent career paths. The article also delves into the political rights of the Māori, including their unique representation in the electoral system. Beaglehole’s work remains a foundational contribution to the understanding of the Māori experience in the context of New Zealand’s socio-economic landscape, even if the language and framing has dated.

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