As the country prepares to celebrate Waitangi Day a survey of Māori has highlighted the ongoing prevalence of state violence against Māori.
Data gathered shows large proportions of Māori continue to experience the impact of multiple forms of violence from the State and its agencies.
The survey was conducted as part of He Waka Eke Noa an MBIE funded Endeavour Research project led by Ngā Wai A Te Tūī, which is investigating the impact of violence on whānau and the importance of Māori led solutions.
The survey identified many Māori have experienced state violence over their lifetime including state neglect, failure to protect, abuse and abuse of power, racism, breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and police violence.
All survey respondents indicated some or a lot of experiences across their lifetime. Agencies identified most consistently are Health services; WINZ; Educational institutions; Justice and Oranga Tamariki. Police were identified as the most significant agency in regards to experiences of ‘failure to protect’.
Over 80% of respondents experienced racism within State/Government agencies and organisations. 52% of all respondents indicated that they have experienced police violence within their lifetime.
Kaupapa Māori epidemologist Shirley Simmonds says “This highlights what our people have said for many years there are severe and urgent issues in regards to state and government agencies and the treatment of Māori. Racism, abuse of power and failure to protect sit at the centre of many of these issues and we are not surprised by the agencies such as the Police; Health services; WINZ; Educational institutions; Justice and Oranga Tamariki being identified consistently across these indicators”.
“As we approach Waitangi Day the question regarding how respondents experienced breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi is a vivid reminder that this remains a critical issue for Māori and that successive governments have failed to make transformative changes”, states Professor Leonie Pihama of Ngā Wai A Te Tūī.
Of the 1,468 respondents who answered this question in the survey, 43.7% (642 individuals) stated that in their lifetime, they or their whānau had experienced breaches of Te Tiriti by state or government agencies ‘a lot’, a further 39.1% (574 individuals) stated they had experienced breaches of Te Tiriti ‘a few times’, and an estimated 17.2% (252 individuals) stated that they or their whānau had ‘never’ experienced breaches of Te Tiriti by state or government agencies.
Professor Leonie Pihama and Shirley Simmons will be available for interviews between 7am -1pm
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