National | Abuse

Why Māori are more often victims of crime than Pākehā

A new study has revealed Māori are victims of crime more than any other group and need better support.

Māori and Victimisation in Aotearoa/New Zealand is a new study by the Ministry of Justice, which found  Māori are more victimised than any other ethnic group in Aotearoa.

The study points out that 38% of Māori were victims of crime compared with 30% for the general population.

The study has found compounding factors such as deprivation, age, disability, sexuality and financial stability are contributing causes to Māori victimisation.

Ministry of Justice sector group deputy secretary Tim Hampton, says this means any response to reduce victimisation of Māori needs to take these factors into account.

The report says it has been known for a long time that Māori are significantly over-represented among those who are harmed by crime.

"These findings are important for the government and the community in seeking to improve support for Māori victims of crime.”

Based on the New Zealand Crime and Victims Surveys of 2018 and 2019, the findings come from more than 16,000 people aged 15 and over - 4,641 were Māori.

Further research

The Turuki! Turuki! Move together! report published by Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora (the Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group) in 2019, noted "the [justice] system is failing Māori"

The report also found that the enduring effects of colonisation disenfranchise and impoverish Māori communities, and how Māori experience worse outcomes than other new Zealanders at every stage of the justice process.

Tim Hampton says, "Clearly change must not be cosmetic for Māori, it must be large scale and practical.”

He says, “Being younger, the 15 to 29 age group, and in a non-legally recognised partnership, or having a disability significantly increased the risk of criminal victimisation for Māori.”

Research shows violent crime such as physical assault, sexual assault, stalking, bullying and family violence. was higher for Māori living in Wellington and the South Island.

Hampton says, “This information and other data in this report will be vital in the development of any new Māori led services for victims, or for improving services to support Māori victims and their whānau.”

If you are a victim of a crime or abuse, please contact Victim Support on 0800 842 846.