Childcare statistics in New Zealand reveal a variety of trends and differences. For example, Maori and Pacific’s families are more likely than European families to choose centre-based care for their children. These families also use home-based care less often. Children in Maori and Pacific families are also less likely to be cared for by a nanny.
Maori and Pacific’s mothers were less likely to receive daily feedback on their child’s day
One of the reasons for this is that Maori and Pacific mothers are more isolated from whanau and, as a result, are at greater risk of ill health, domestic violence and overwork. Moreover, how Maori and Pacific mothers are often portrayed in the media is often inaccurate and distorts the real picture of Maori culture.
The lack of daily feedback for Maori and Pacific mothers also impacted on their child’s education and development. The lack of access to information about their child’s progress in school made them less likely to feel comfortable talking to teachers and other adults. It was also difficult for Maori and Pacific mothers to raise their children, especially on their own. In such cases, Maori and Pacific mothers often offered their children to other families to build community ties and to help with the child-rearing process. However, the standard of care was often viewed as inferior.
New Zealand’s current policies on state care for children have sparked widespread outrage and controversy. While the policies are intended to safeguard children from harm, the fact remains that a large number of children are still in the care of the state. In New Zealand, a majority of children who are in state care are Maori. As a result, the government is introducing a royal commission of inquiry to investigate these cases. The government plans to focus on community-led prevention strategies to address these concerns.
Maori and Pacific children have higher barriers to seeing a GP
New research shows that disproportionate barriers exist to seeing a GP in New Zealand for Maori and Pacific children. This inequity in access to primary health care is contributing to health inequities and poor health outcomes for Maori and Pacific children. The study found that children who have barriers to seeing a GP are almost twice as likely to be hospitalised when they are four years old than other children. As a result, the study recommends policymakers focus on improving access to health care for Maori and Pacific children.
The cost of a GP visit is another factor that contributes to children’s denial of primary health care services. The cost of seeing a GP is often prohibitive, especially for Maori children. However, the zero-fees policy hasn’t eliminated the barriers, as caregivers report not taking their children to a GP for fear of financial hardship. This cost can be related to the cost of transportation, childcare for other children in the family, and even time taken off work. This issue is also exacerbated by the fact that children who do not enrol in practice do not qualify for free visits.
Maori and Pacific children have lower rates of active forms of transport
The rates of enrolment in PHO vary by geography and socio-demographic group. Maori children have lower rates of enrolment than European/Other children and young people (15-24 years) are less likely to be enrolled. Low enrolment rates are also observed among Pacific children and the youngest population. Enrolment rates are highest in more affluent areas and the Auckland DHB.
Similarly, adolescents have lower rates of active transport and independent mobility, indicating a lower level of physical activity. In addition, they travel long distances to school. This suggests that car-based transportation is not the answer to reducing rates of active transport, as is commonly thought.
Although these disparities are substantial, they do not indicate a cause. Moreover, the results of this study are still preliminary. Further research is needed to better understand the reasons for the differences.