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Socio-economic differences between Maori iwi.

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Journal of the Polynesian Society, 105(2), 165-83

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Gould provides an analytical exploration of the socio-economic disparities among different Māori iwi.

Utilising data from the 1991 Census, which for the first time included questions on iwi affiliation, the study systematically examines various socio-economic indicators across major iwi. These indicators include income, employment, education levels, and housing. Gould’s analysis reveals significant socio-economic differences between iwi, challenging the homogenised perceptions of the Māori population. Some of the key findings are that Ngāi Tahu are in first place in eight out of the nine indicators. Te Atiawa and Ngati Toa, its nearest rivals, compete closely for second place, and are both well ahead of the fourth-ranked iwi, Ngati Raukawa. The bottom tow are Tuhoe and Waikato, who occupy two of the last three positions in every one of the first nine columns. Gould offers several reasons for the findings, with the most contentious based on the fact that the different iwi scores correlate to the degree of ‘mixed ancestry’, with Ngāi Tahu Census data showing the highest amount of mixed ancestry. Gould notes that this is due to historical factors that saw them integrate more closely with Pākehā, including as he argues, taking advantage of educational opportunities. As he frames it, this is could be describe as ‘degree of modernisation’: the degree to which each iwi has approximated ‘western’ norms in respect of technology, social and economic attitudes, which mixed ancestry is a proxy for in the data.

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