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NZ indigenous data among world's best

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 21/04/2016

New Zealand is a world leader when it comes to collecting and recording information about its indigenous population according to a local expert.

A world-first study on the health of indigenous populations across 23 countries was launched on Thursday, with New Zealand providing arguably the most comprehensive data set.

More than 154 million indigenous and tribal peoples were covered by the study.

Otago University associate dean Bridget Robson - who authored parts of the report from a New Zealand perspective - says the data is crucial for monitoring Treat of Waitangi obligations.

"New Zealand has developed high quality ethnicity data in its national health surveillance system over the past two decades, crucial for monitoring the right to health for Maori," she said.

"This must be vigilantly maintained.

"The next steps include developing data systems that support iwi and hapu to monitor health and social outcomes for their own people and rohe, incorporating Maori values and concepts of health and wellbeing."

The two-year study represents around 50 per cent of the world's indigenous population.

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