Within Aotearoa New Zealand, the presence of racism in the health and disability system has been well evidenced and researched. Understanding racism and racial inequity in its current context requires us to understand the inherited traits and characteristics of the health system and how it creates, maintains, and perpetuates racism and racial inequity at multiple levels
This is the first literature review, in the Ao Mai te Rā series. It traces how understandings of racism and anti-racism have shifted over time and explores various concepts, language and definitions that have been used to date. It considers how we might frame and think about racism and anti-racism within the Aotearoa New Zealand context and has been used to inform the Ministry’s position statement and working definitions for racism and anti-racism in health.
The Ministry has made a deliberate effort to ensure this literature review is accessible for a broad range of audiences and has developed a summary paper called ‘Whiria Te Muka Tangata’ to help translate the insights captured in the literature review in a way that is engaging for the general public. The summary paper uses storytelling and visual chains to demonstrate how racism is driven through systems and structures and how it impacts on health outcomes.
This literature review and summary paper are both part of an integrated portfolio of work for phase one of Ao Mai Te Rā: the Anti-Racism Kaupapa and were completed by researchers at the University of Canterbury and Tokona Te Raki Māori Futures Collective, on behalf of the Ministry of Health.