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How to think about Māori information needs
He waka eke noa. 
A canoe which we are all in with no exception.

This whakatauki reminds us that our goals cannot be achieved unless we all work together. This section explains the context of how Statistics NZ understands the provision of information for and about Māori. By providing a context of how to approach Māori information needs, we hope this will become a common platform that Official Statistics System producers and the Māori community can use to contextualise how to meet Māori information needs.

Māori information needs

As New Zealand’s national statistics office, Statistics NZ administers the Statistics Act 1975. We are the leader of the Official Statistics System and the major producer of official statistics in New Zealand. As such we have two key roles – system leader and statistics producer.

In keeping with the Treaty of Waitangi, we recognise the uniqueness accorded Māori as tangata whenua. We know that we need to respond to changes to Māori development in the post-Treaty settlement environment. We will consider the information needs of Māori as a result of these changes and work with them effectively in a responsive, customer-focused manner.

Statistics for and about Māori

In a post-Treaty settlement environment, Māori are now able to self-determine their development as Māori. As Māori navigate towards their desired development, they will provide some of the data to underpin their decision-making processes. However, it is expected that priority information relevant to Māori self-determined development be available through the Crown. This is information that can broadly be considered information 'for' Māori. Statistics for Māori are those that enable Māori well-being to be measured. They focus on how Māori interpret and value the world, the activities they do, and what makes them unique.

Information is also needed for Māori to see that their rights as citizens are being delivered. This type of information tends to be ‘about’ Māori. Statistics about Māori is about their similarity or difference from the population in general, and focus on how Māori compare with other ethnic groups and the total population.

Both types of information are needed, particularly as the Crown and Māori increasingly work together for mutual benefit in a post-Treaty settlement environment.

Image, Crown-Māori priority: Statistics about and for Māori.


Tools to help you understand Māori information needs

In this section, we provide you with the tools to help you understand information 'for' and 'about' Māori, We do not make assumptions about data source or producers of such data, and so encourage you to understand this context. We would welcome this contextual model of information ‘for’ and ‘about’ Māori being used by others.

  • He Arotahi Tatauranga is a tool to assist you in determining how to measure and locate information available for and about Māori.

We welcome feedback on this work at We will update this page as we develop more tools relevant to understanding the strategic context setting for Māori information needs.

Background information

Towards a Māori Statistics Framework (2002)

Review of culture and identity (2009)

Directories of relevant statistics

Te Waharoa

New Zealand social indicators

Developing our Māori statistical surveys

Kei te pehea tō whanau

He Kohinga Whakaaro / Māori Social Survey discussion document

Published 12 August 2014 

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