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Maori life expectancy rises by two years

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/12/2016

The life expectancy of Maori has risen more than two years since 2006, a study has found.

The researchers found life expectancy for both European and Maori has increased in all DHBs from 2006-2013, however Maori are now expected to live just over two years longer, where those of European descent is just one.

The average Maori will now live until 79.4 years in Auckland, compared with 77.1 in 2006, but the average European in Auckland will now live until 84.5, compared with 83.5 in 2006.

The study points out that New Zealand has a multi-ethnic population divided into broad categories; Maori (66 per cent), Asian (12 per cent), Pacific Islander (6 per cent), and 'the rest' (66 per cent) who are overwhelmingly of European ethnicity, who've been classified as "European".

Maori and Pacific Islanders experience higher levels of deprivation and lower life expectancies than other ethnic groups in New Zealand, the study shows.

Due to different needs in different DHBs in terms of ethnic populations, the rise in life expectancy could be attributed to funding being directed appropriately; obesity programmes, anti-smoking campaigns and diabetes.

The study, a collaborative effort between District Health Boards across the country and the University of Auckland, was an effort to see how efficient DHBs are at producing life expectancy gains.

The study also found "reasonably high levels of efficiency in NZ DHBs", at producing life expectancy gains.

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