The Health of Pacific Adults and Children

Published online: 
22 March 2013
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This brief paper presents key findings about the health and wellbeing of Pacific adults and children in 2011/12. These results come from the New Zealand Health Survey.

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We have made minor corrections to previously published data. Please use the Annual Update of Key Results 2015/16: New Zealand Health Survey and the accompanying data tables for estimates for 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15. The errors that were corrected are described in the Methodology Report 2015/16: New Zealand Health Survey.

Overview of key findings

Health behaviours and risk factors

  • About 14% of Pacific children are given solid food before four months of age. This is higher than the national average
  • Pacific adults and other adults have similar levels of fruit intake. However, Pacific adults are less likely to eat at least three servings of vegetables each day, and are also less likely to be physically active.
  • One in five Pacific children and three in five Pacific adults are obese. These rates are higher than the national averages. 
  • One in four Pacific adults smoke.

Health status and conditions

  • Diabetes disproportionately affects Pacific adults. One in ten Pacific adults have been diagnosed with diabetes. 
  • One in ten Pacific adults experienced psychological distress in the past four weeks. This is much higher than the national average.

Access to health care

  • Cost prevented 17% of Pacific adults, and 7% of Pacific children, from visiting a GP when they needed to, in the past 12 months.
  • Over one in ten Pacific adults and children did not collect a prescription item in the past 12 months due to the cost.
  • Only one in three (33%) Pacific adults (with natural teeth) had visited a dental health care worker in the past 12 months. 
  • Pacific adults and children were more likely than other people to have had a tooth removed due to poor oral health in the past 12 months.

For more information

For full results from the 2011/12 New Zealand Health Survey, see the publications The Health of New Zealand Adults 2011/12 and The Health of New Zealand Children 2011/12.  

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    22 March 2013
  • HP number:
  • Citation:
    Ministry of Health. 2013. The Health of Pacific Adults and Children. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
  • Copyright status:
    Owned by the Ministry of Health and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.
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