E rangahau ana koe i te aha?What would you like to search for?

Te Taha Tinana: Maori Health and the Crown in the Rohe Potae inquiry district, 1840 to 1990.

Author Category Source

Waitangi Tribunal, ,

Published Year

In this Waitangi Tribunal report, Robinson delves into the intricate relationship between Māori health and the policies of the New Zealand Crown within the Rohe Potae inquiry district from 1840 to 1990.

The author’s primary focus is on the socio-political factors that have shaped Māori health outcomes over a century and a half. Robinson argues that colonial policies and practices, including land confiscation, socio-economic marginalisation, and cultural suppression, have had a profound and lasting impact on the health of Māori communities. There are several sections on housing covering different historical periods. In the section on the 19th century, Robinson makes a number of points, covering the substandard nature of Māori housing, its location in marginal areas, the way increased mobility further weakened Māori housing security, and how introduction of Pākehā-style houses in 1848 didn’t fully address these issues as they were culturally unsuitable and often overcrowded. As Robinson also notes, despite the clear link between poor housing and ill-health, there was a lack of state action in the 19th century to improve Māori housing. The next section covers 1900 to 1938, when as Robinson notes Māori in the Rohe Pōtae and other areas gradually shifted from traditional to European-style housing, with high levels of overcrowding compared to their Pākehā neighbours. It discusses the continued problem of overcrowding and limited improvement in ventilation and sanitation due to economic constraints. The report also notes the significant rate of home ownership among Māori, yet their living conditions were generally below standard. The Crown’s minimal involvement focused on land purchase assistance rather than direct housing aid, and by 1938, some financial assistance programs were introduced for Māori housing, although they faced several challenges. The final housing section covers the period 1938 and 1990, when housing remained a significant factor in the health disparity between Māori and Pākehā. Despite Māori increasingly occupying Western-style homes with improved sanitation, Māori dwellings were generally less conducive to good health compared to Pākehā homes. Overcrowding was a persistent issue. While there were improvements in basic amenities by the 1960s, Māori households still lagged behind non-Māori in terms of facilities like piped water and toilets. Persistent overcrowding contributed to higher rates of infectious diseases among Māori. As Robinson concludes, lack of comprehensive data post-1960s makes it difficult to fully assess changes in housing conditions, but reports as late as 1991 indicated ongoing issues with substandard housing, especially in rural areas, affecting health outcomes. Robinson’s work is not just a historical account; it also serves as a critical analysis of the ongoing implications of colonialism on Māori health. The author advocates for a greater understanding and acknowledgment of these historical contexts in current health policy and practice.

Go back to the Annotated Bibliography List