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Survey shows Maori unhappy with economy, iwi - point to policy priorities

10 Sep 12

Survey shows Maori unhappy with economy, iwi - point to policy priorities
Maori want health, education and skills given top priority

Horizon Research has released its Maori Viewpoint 2012 report, tracking the views of Maori nationwide on issues ranging from their personal household financial position to their iwis' performance.


Maori are sending clear signals to their iwi and other policy makers on what they think are the most important issues for Maori over the next three years.


The report is based on a Horizon Research Maori Panel survey of 433 adult Maori in August 2012. Some results are also compared with those of a May, 2011, Horizon Research Maori Panel survey of 534 respondents.


Results are weighted by age, gender, personal income, region and employment status to ensure a representative sample of the Maori population aged 18+at the 2006 census. At a 95% confidence level the maximum margin of error is +/- 4.7% (4.2% in the 2011 survey).


Key findings of the 2012 survey include:


Wrong track: An increasing number of Maori feel the country is headed in the wrong direction (71.8% compared with 63.1% in May 2011). This view is held reasonably consistently across all age groups, but rises to nearly 80% among 18-24 and 25-34 year-olds.


Economic management poorly rated: Maori are increasingly dissatisfied with the Government’s handling of the economy and more are reporting their household financial positions are worse than a year ago, and more expect them to worsen in the next year. Overall 34.5% of Maori expect their household financial position to worsen.


Iwi involvement and contact: Five per cent more are involved in iwi affairs than in 2011, though a third are still not active in iwi affairs. 51% have little or no contact with their iwi and 24.6% only rate contact with them by their iwi as adequate or better.

However, the number who feel better informed on iwi issues has risen from 41.7% to 55.1%


Inadequate iwi consultation: Nearly 44% now think their iwi is adequately consulting them. However, 56.5% feel consultation is inadequate (72.3% in May 2011).

Call for involvement: Maori want to be more involved with their iwi. Some 82.3% want more involvement, 47.5% “most of the time”.


Treaty settlement benefits not seen: Some 53.7% say they have received no personal benefit from their iwi treaty settlements. Some 58% feel only a few iwi members and iwi management are benefiting.


Kai Moana management: There has been a 14% fall in the number who feel their iwi are adequately managing their iwi’s Kai Moana fishing resources, which result from a treaty settlement. Some 64% feel they have no influence of iwi management policy on this.


Future priorities: Maori send strong signals to their iwi and other policy makers on what they think are their most important issues for Maori over the next three years. Health, unemployment and secondary education are seen as the most important. Given lower priority are extracting mineral wealth and gas and oil exploration, though marine and coastal area rights are viewed as a priority by a majority.


Tertiary and primary education, economic growth, apprenticeship training and other skills training, health and increasing the returns from treaty settlements have all risen as priority issues, compared with May 2011.


Water rights and asset sales:  81% oppose the Government’s policy to sell up to 49% of its shares in state owned energy companies. Those opposed by party vote include: Labour (95%), Mana 100%, Maori party 79% and Green 82.2%. However, 67.03% of Maori who voted for National in 2011 support, 14.40% of them strongly. There is less certainty over whether Maori own water rights and can attach a value to them: 48.7% say yes, 32% no. The survey was taken in the week the Waitangi Tribunal started hearing an application from the Maori Council and others regarding asset sales and water rights.  At this time 92% of Maori wanted the Government to wait until the special hearing and report were complete before selling energy company shares. 66.3% support holding a referendum on the Government’s asset sale policy.


Party voting:  There is a close contest, involving the Labour, Maori, Green and Mana parties for the party votes of Maori.


The report's content tables can be downloaded here.


To purchase the Horizon Maori Viewpoint 2012 report and for further reporting and analysis, additional rights to use the report or commission special research using Horizon’s research panels, please contact:


Graeme Coman


Horizon Research Limited


Telephone: +64 2) 84 85 76




Grant McInman


Horizon Research Limited


Telephone: +64 (21) 076 2040