Tāngata whaikaha Māori Data

We look at available data on how Tāngata whaikaha Māori (Māori Disabled) are doing since 2018.

Explore a dashboard of this data .


Te Kupenga (2018) found Tāngata whaikaha Māori had lower levels of trust with the education system (with only 37% of 15-54 year olds having high trust, compared to 45% of non-disabled Māori). Rangatahi that were Tāngata whaikaha Māori also reported having fewer positive experiences at school (Youth 19 survey). This includes:

  • 73% feeling like a part of school, compared 81% of disabled Pākeha and 88% of Māori non-disabled.
  • 57% seeing a positive future for themselves, compared to 59% of disabled Pākeha and 69% of Māori non-disabled.
  • 70% reporting feeling safe at school, compared to compared to 79% of disabled Pākeha and 89% of Māori non-disabled.

Lesser discrepancies existed when it came to Rangatahi reporting teacher’s having expectations that they do well, with 93% of Tāngata whaikaha Māori reporting this was the case, compared to 95% of Tāngata whaikaha Pākeha, and 96% of Māori non-disabled.

Te Kupenga (2018) also surveyed experiences of Māori in relation to Te reo Māori. In general, Tāngata whaikaha Māori were more likely to view using Te Reo Māori in daily life as being important (34%), compared to Māori non-disabled (31%). They were also more likely to report being able to understand and speak Te Reo Māori (at 34% and 20% respectively, compared to 30% and 18% for Māori non-disabled). On the other hand, Tāngata whaikaha Māori were much less likely to report speaking Te Reo Māori at home to pre-school children, some, all or equally with English (or other language), at 63%, in comparison to Māori non-disabled (87%). Tāngata whaikaha Māori were more likely to report having acquired Te reo Māori through studying at a Māori wānanga (32%, compared to 28% Māori non-disabled), but much less likely to report acquiring this through primary, secondary or Māori boarding school (at 40%, compared to 52% Māori non-disabled).

Employment and Financial Protection

Te Kupenga (2018) found Tāngata whaikaha Māori were less likely to report having enough or more than enough income to meet everyday needs (at 47%, compared to 67% of Māori non-disabled), be less likely to have a paid job (at 40%, compared to 71% of Māori non-disabled) as well as be less satisfied with their job (with 80% reporting being satisfied or very satisfied, compared to 83% of Māori non-disabled).

The Youth 19 survey also found that Rangatahi that were Tāngata whaikaha Māori were more likely to report food insecurity and housing instability (at 51% and 29% respectively, compared to 23% and 9% of Tāngata whaikaha Pākeha).

Justice, Rights & Protection

Te Kupenga (2018) found only 54% and 47% of Tāngata whaikaha Māori holding a high level of trust for the Police and Court System respectively. For rangatahi, there were slight differences in terms of feelings of safety, with 90% of Tāngata whaikaha Māori feeling safe in the community and 95% feeling safe at home, compared to 94% and 97% of Tāngata whaikaha Pākeha respectively.


Te Kupenga (2018) found Tāngata whaikaha Māori reporting to have had high levels of discrimination at any stage (66%), with this mainly relating to race or ethnic group (56%), compared to disability or health related issue (11%).


Tāngata whaikaha Māori were more likely to be enrolled in Māori roll (53%), compared to Māori non-disabled (41%), however were less likely to have voted in the last general election (81%, compared to 85% of Māori non-disabled) (Te Kupenga, 2018)


Te Kupenga (2018), found Tāngata whaikaha Māori to have lower levels of access to basic amenities, such as cellphone / mobile phone access (89%) , internet (78%) and all basic amenities such as water, bathroom (86%), compared to Māori non-disabled (at 96%, 90% and 93% respectively).

The Census (2018), examined housing related outcomes and found that Tāngata whaikaha Māori were much more likely to live in rented accommodation (56%), were more likely to have no heating used at home (6%), and were much more likely to report dwelling being always damp (at 13%), compared to Tāngata whaikaha Pākeha (33%, 3% and 5% respectively).

It is also interesting to note that Tāngata whaikaha Māori seem to have a high level of interest in Māori culture and leadership. For example, 58% voted in an iwi election in the last 3 years, and 51% reported it to be quite or very important to engage in Māori culture, compared to 51% and 45% of Māori non-disabled. However, Tāngata whaikaha Māori, were less likely to have engaged in some Māori practices, including being less likely to have used a Māori greeting (86%) or discussed / explored whakapapa (56%), compared to Māori non-disabled (at 91% at 60% respectively).

Health & wellbeing

Te Kupenga (2018), found Tāngata whaikaha Māori to have poorer health and wellbeing related outcomes, including:

  • 51% reporting feeling cheerful or in good spirits all or most of the time, compared to 67% of Māori non-disabled.
  • 55% reporting their self-rated health status as high, compared to 84% of Māori non-disabled.
  • 67% reporting having a high sense of control over their life, compared to 82% of Māori non-disabled.
  • 63% reporting their whānau to being relatively well, compared to 75% of Māori non-disabled.

COVID-19 related outcomes

The social wellbeing agency examined vaccination uptake in November 2021, and found 83% of Tāngata whaikaha Māori having had at least one dose, compared to 90% of Tāngata whaikaha Pākeha, and 84% of Māori non-disabled.

The Horizon survey (2021) found Tāngata whaikaha were more likely to be aware of a Māori health provider in the area (63%), and would go to a Māori health provider for primary care (46%), compared to non-disabled people (54% and 30% respectively).

Some anecdotal evidence from the How’s it going for the disability community surveys (released in 2020), found Tāngata whaikaha Māori were more likely to report concerns about the digital divide, information overload and feeling loneliness.

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