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Introduction

Enduring census information requirements for and about Māori, based on an understanding of partnership through the Treaty of Waitangi and legal obligations, are established in Gleisner, Downey, & McNally (2015).

They identify four variables as essential census information requirements specific to Māori: Māori descent, Māori ethnicity, iwi, and te reo Māori (the Māori language).

Māori ethnic group and Māori descent are the primary identifiers of belonging as Māori, and are therefore essential for census to produce any Māori information at all. Both are legal requirements: under the Statistics Act 1975 (ethnicity) and Electoral Act 1993 (Māori descent).

Iwi (Māori tribal groupings) is also a core identifier for Māori and fundamental to Treaty settlements, both to support the settlement process and to monitor post-settlement outcomes.

Te reo Māori is clearly of paramount importance to Māori, and the Crown’s commitment as a Treaty partner is reflected in the Māori Language Act 1987. Information is necessary to monitor the health of te reo and is used by both government and Māori bodies, such as iwi and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori. The census is the only source permitting analysis of spoken language for the entire population that allows detailed breakdowns (eg te reo speakers by iwi and age groups).

The population identifiers and basic demographics provided by the census serve as the population reference point for other data sources. The census also provides a sampling frame for surveys that are targeted to Māori (Te Kupenga 2013 for example).

Any future census model based on administrative sources must also be able to provide this essential information. As Māori ethnicity and Māori descent are population identifiers, an administrative-based census must be able to source these variables from administrative data for all New Zealand residents. If a large-scale sample survey forms a component of a future census then iwi and te reo may be collected either through the survey, from administrative data if possible, or a combination of both.

Aims and scope

This paper summarises the availability and quality of administrative data sources for these critical information needs for and about Māori. We first provide reference information about the statistical concepts and about the relevant administrative data sources. We then describe preliminary analysis of Māori ethnicity, descent, and iwi information, where this was available from the linked administrative sources within Statistics NZ’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI). Rates of agreement between administrative sources and the census are found by comparing individual responses from 2013 Census data linked to the IDI.

Analysis has been limited to administrative sources available in the IDI in May 2015. In addition, we include aggregate comparisons against the electoral roll for Māori descent. Analysis is only for national-level results for each variable. There are no breakdowns for age, sex, or by region. While we discuss iwi registers, no analysis was possible as this data is not available in the IDI. Similarly, there is no individual-level analysis of electoral roll data, because it is not available in the IDI. We found no administrative sources suitable for analysing language.

The results for Māori ethnicity are summarised from Reid et al (2016), who compare census level 1 ethnic groups with ethnicity data from IDI administrative sources.

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