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Well-being and Disparity in Tamaki-makaurau Report on the Urban Māori Disparities Research Programme.

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New Zealand Population Review, 29(1), 111

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Crothers delves into the well-being and disparities among urban Māori in Auckland, New Zealand.

The central question the report addresses is the factors contributing to cultural, social, economic, and political well-being among Māori in larger urban areas, and their interrelation. Utilising data from several research sites within metropolitan Auckland, the report aims to inform policy development for transforming the urban Māori situation. This involves identifying necessary factors to ensure Māori in urban areas can develop capabilities for personal well-being and positive contributions to their communities. The research is part of a larger study presented across five volumes, offering an extensive exploration of Māori/non-Māori disparities. It critiques the prevailing assumption of a widening gap between Māori and non-Māori across various social and economic indicators, suggesting a more complex reality. This includes acknowledging individual exceptions and emphasising the need for culturally appropriate policy and assistance. Crothers provides a comprehensive review of existing literature and reports, along with new empirical work and secondary analyses. The report addresses the debate over disparities, including critical reactions and arguments for more nuanced data interpretation. It highlights the importance of understanding Māori/non-Māori differences beyond mere socio-economic factors, considering cultural variations and their impact on social life. The research findings encompass sociographical material, ethnographic studies, focused census studies, and a case study of the Orakei community. These findings reveal similar aspirations but subtle differences between Māori and non-Māori, various Māori identifications, and the significance of multivariate analysis in explaining income/resource gaps. The paper underscores the need for more comprehensive data in understanding Māori situations and for policies that address both material and non-material aspects of well-being. In conclusion, Crothers highlights the complexity of Māori reality in urban contexts, stressing the need for sophisticated policy approaches that reflect this complexity. The paper’s contribution lies in its extensive analysis and argumentation, providing a valuable resource for understanding urban Māori well-being and informing relevant policy-making.

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