In 2006 life expectancy at age 50 was a further 24.6 years for Māori males (to 74.6 years of age) and a further 27.8 years for Māori females (to 77.8 years of age), while life expectancy at age 50 for non-Māori males was 31.2 years and for non-Māori females 34.4 years (to 81.2 and 84.4 years of age, respectively) (Figure 6). Overall, in 2006, Māori life expectancy at age 50 was at least six years less than that for non-Māori, for both genders.
During the 1980s and early 1990s, Māori mortality was seriously undercounted due to the use of a different ethnicity data recording system on death registration forms compared with that used for the Census. The broken lines on Figure 6 for Māori males and females represent adjusted life expectancy from the New Zealand Census − Mortality Study (NZCMS). This adjusted life expectancy takes into account the undercounting of Māori deaths, thereby providing more reliable life expectancy estimates over this period (Ajwani et al 2003; Blakely et al 2007).
For life expectancy at birth for Māori and non-Māori over this same period, see Tatau Kahukura.
Figure 6: Life expectancy at age 50, Māori and non-Māori by gender, 1951–2006
Sources: Blakely et al 2007; Statistics New Zealand
Adjusted life expectancy estimates for Māori 1980–99 use estimates from the New Zealand Census Mortality Study graphed at the mid-point of each time period. From 2001, adjusted estimates are close to unadjusted.