Ministry's latest study highlights need to better support Māori victims of crime

A new study by the Ministry’s research team titled Māori and Victimisation in Aotearoa/New Zealand has found that Māori are more victimised than any other ethnic group in Aotearoa New Zealand, with poor socio-economic conditions a contributing cause.

The study results are based on the Ministry's New Zealand Crime and Victims Surveys of 2018 and 2019, where we interviewed more than 16,000 people aged 15 years and over, including 4,641 respondents who identified as Māori.

The study, authored by Dr Tadhg Daly, Criminologist, found that over a 12-month period, 38% of Māori respondents were victims of crime, compared to 30% for the general population. Compounding factors such as deprivation, age, disability, sexuality and financial stability contributed to Māori victimisation.

A previous Ministry study in 2006 also reported that Māori were more likely to be the victims of crime across all offence types and experience multiple offences, in part due to deprivation of income, housing and land.

“This suggests that little has improved and that these trends will continue unless changes are made. Clearly change must not be cosmetic for Māori, it must be large scale and practical,” says Tim Hampton, Deputy Secretary for the Ministry's Sector Group.

“We found a small proportion of Māori experience disproportionate amounts of crime, with just 5% of Māori adults experiencing 81% of all violent interpersonal offences against Māori and 56% of burglaries.”

Other factors that significantly increased the risk of criminal victimisation for Māori included being in the 15-29 years age group; in a non-legally recognised partnership; or having a disability.

A surprising finding is that the level of victimisation varies in different regions. For example, violent interpersonal crime was higher for Māori living in Wellington and the South Island, compared to Māori living in the North Island.

This report  will be vital in the development of any new Māori-led services for victims, or for improving services to support Māori victims and their whānau.

You can read a copy of the report, including associated data tables and FAQs, on the Ministry of Justice website at:

New Zealand Crime & Victims Survey Resources and Results

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