Tariana Turia - Press Release
A research report released today by the Ministry of Health shows
that Maori women experience inequalities in access to maternity
care and report lower levels of satisfaction with maternity
services than most other women from other ethnic groups. The report
Hapu Ora:Well-being in the Early Stages of Life aims to
identify research priorities for the life course of Maori with a
specific focus on wellbeing at the early stage of life.
"This report is crucial in highlighting what affects early
physical, social and cognitive development of Maori babies.
We know that Maori babies suffer disproportionately from low birth
weight, pre-term birth, stillbirths and neonatal mortality than
most other ethnic groups. Improving the support services we
provide in these early stages of life will help prevent negative
outcomes later in life," says Associate Minister of Health, Tariana
The research report identified three key research priorities for
further work which include addressing societal conditions,
supporting the mother and her baby and the whanau and improving
services to ensure best practice maternity and newborn support
for Maori mothers, their babies and families.
"We need to do a better job of meeting the needs of Maori
mothers and their families by identifying and supporting not only
their physical needs but also their mental health and
well-being. Anyone who has been through pregnancy and
childbirth understands and knows not only the absolute joy of a
new-born in their lives but also how stressful this journey can be
at times - we need to do everything we can to understand and reduce
these pressures on Maori mothers and their families," says Mrs
The report was developed by Massey University's Whariki Research
Group and jointly funded by the Ministry of Health and the Health
Research Council of New Zealand. It is available
through the Ministry of Health website.