Racial discrimination

Previous analyses, in the 2002/03 and 2006/07 New Zealand Health Survey, have showed that experience of racial discrimination is associated with poor health outcomes and has impact on a wide range of risk factors (see Harris et al in Social Science & Medicine 74(3), 2012). This section presents the prevalence of self-reported experience of racial discrimination ‘ever’ in a person’s lifetime using data from the 2011/12 NZHS. ‘Racial discrimination’ refers to experience of ethnically motivated personal attack (physical or verbal) and experience of unfair treatment on the basis of ethnicity in any of three situations: health care, housing or work.

Indicator Māori Non-Māori
Males Females Total Males Females Total
Table 6: Self-reported experience of any racial discrimination, by gender, Māori and non‑Māori, 2011/12 [1]
Self-reported experience of any ethnically motivated personal attack or any unfair treatment on the basis of ethnicity (ever), 15+ years, percent, 2011/12 30.8
(26.9–35.1)
24.9
(22.1–28.0)
27.5
(25.2–30.0)
16.0
(14.4–17.9)
13.4
(12.1–15.0)
14.7
(13.6–15.9)

Overall, Māori adults were almost twice as likely as non-Māori adults to have experienced any type of racial discrimination (RR 1.87, CI 1.67–2.10).

Table 7: Self-reported experience of ethnically motivated personal attack, by gender, Māori and non-Māori, 2011/12 [1]
Indicator Māori Non-Māori
Males Females Total Males Females Total
Self-reported experience of ethnically motivated physical attack (ever), 15+ years, percent, 2011/12 12.4
(9.5–15.9)
3.9
(2.7–5.4)
7.8
(6.2–9.6)
4.4
(3.6–5.3)
2.1
(1.6–2.6)
3.2
(2.8–3.7)
Self-reported experience of ethnically motivated verbal attack (ever), 15+ years, percent, 2011/12 24.6
(20.8–28.8)
17.9
(15.4–20.7)
20.8
(18.6–23.3)
12.7
(11.1–14.5)
10.6
(9.4–11.9)
11.7
(10.6–12.8)
Self-reported experience of any ethnically motivated personal (physical or verbal) attack (ever), 15+ years, percent, 2011/12 26.9
(22.9–31.3)
18.4
(15.9–21.2)
22.2
(19.9–24.7)
13.9
(12.3–15.7)
11.3
(10.1–12.7)
12.6
(11.5–13.8)

Māori adults were more than 1.5 times as likely as non-Māori adults to have experienced any ethnically motivated personal (physical or verbal) attack (RR 1.78, CI 1.57–2.01). The disparity was greater for rates of experience of physical attack: Māori adults were more than twice as likely as non-Māori adults to have experienced physical attack (RR 2.35, CI 1.78–3.09).

Indicator Māori Non-Māori
Males Females Total Males Females Total
Table 8: Self-reported experience of unfair treatment on the basis of ethnicity, by gender, Māori and non-Māori, 2011/12 [1]
Self-reported experience of unfair treatment by a health professional on the basis of ethnicity (ever), 15+ years, percent, 2011/12 3.7
(2.2–5.9)
4.8
(3.7–6.1)
4.2
(3.4–5.3)
0.9
(0.6–1.3)
1.6
(1.3–2.1)
1.3
(1.0–1.5)
Self-reported experience of unfair treatment at work or being refused a job unfairly because of ethnicity (ever), 15+ years, percent, 2011/12 8.1
(6.1–10.7)
5.1
(3.8–6.8)
6.5
(5.2–8.0)
2.8
(2.3–3.5)
3.0
(2.4–3.7)
2.9
(2.5–3.4)
Self-reported experience of unfair treatment when renting or buying a house on the basis of ethnicity (ever), 15+ years, percent, 2011/12 3.9
(2.4–6.0)
6.3
(5.0–8.0)
5.1
(4.1–6.4)
0.9
(0.6–1.2)
0.8
(0.6–1.1)
0.9
(0.7–1.0)
Self-reported experience of any unfair treatment on the basis of ethnicity (ever), 15+ years, percent, 2011/12 12.6
(9.8–16.0)
12.4
(10.3–14.8)
12.4
(10.7–14.4)
4.0
(3.3–4.7)
4.5
(3.9–5.3)
4.2
(3.8–4.7)

Māori adults were almost 3 times as likely as non-Māori adults to have experienced any unfair treatment on the basis of ethnicity (RR 2.95, CI 2.43–3.58). The disparity was greater for rates of experience of unfair treatment in housing among females: Māori females were more than 7 times as likely as non-Māori females to have experienced unfair treatment in renting or buying houses because of ethnicity (RR 7.35, CI 5.02–10.76).


1. Notes:

Source: 2011/12 New Zealand Health Survey, Ministry of Health

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