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The health and wellbeing of urban Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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In Vojnovic, I., Pearson, A. L., Asiki, G., DeVerteuil, G., & Allen, A. (Eds.). Handbook of global urban health. Routledge., , 283-296

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This chapter delves into the intricate dynamics shaping the health and wellbeing of urban Māori populations in Aotearoa New Zealand, underscoring the profound impact of historical and contemporary colonisation processes.

The authors trace the significant urban migration of Māori post-World War II, a movement encouraged by the government to bolster post-war industry but marred by policies that diluted Māori social structures and language use, exacerbating cultural and social dislocation. The authors critically examine the resultant health inequities faced by urban Māori, attributed to economic downturns, substandard education, housing challenges, and a general inaccessibility to quality health services. Central to their argument is the assertion that mainstream health policies and services fail to adequately address Māori health and cultural needs, thereby widening health disparities. The text proposes culturally responsive health models and services as essential to acknowledging and catering to the diverse health needs of urban Māori. It emphasises the importance of engaging with the varied realities of Māori life to foster self-determination and improve health outcomes. The chapter also introduces the concept of urban Māori identity, exploring the spatial distribution of urban Māori and highlighting the diversity within the urban Māori population, including distinctions between mana whenua and mātāwaka. Through an analysis of census data and spatial distribution, the authors advocate for policy responses that recognise and support the rights and interests of urban Māori in city planning and development.

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