Ngā Whānau me ngā Kāinga Māori

Ngā Whānau me ngā Kāinga Māori

Māori Families and Households

Key Facts

More than 90 percent of Māori live in families within households; either in couple with child(ren), one parent with child(ren), multi-family, or couple only households.

More than half of Māori households have Non-Māori household members, while more than a quarter of all dependent children live in Māori households.

Households with the highest household incomes are multi-family households ($98,100), couple with child(ren) households ($68,300), and couple only households ($62,400).

As a proportion, Māori are more likely to live in multi-family households in Auckland, couple with child(ren) households in southland and one parentwith child(ren) households in Gisborne.

The composition of Māori households is changing over time, with increases in the proportion of couple only and oneperson households, and decreases in the proportion of couple with child(ren) households.

Māori families and households represent the core of wider whānau support networks. This fact sheet examines trends in Māori families and households, and their influence on the lives of Māori.

Families and households

This fact sheet examines the composition of Māori families and households. A Māori household is any household with at least one Māori household member. The relationship between families and households is complex as there can be more than one family in a household. This fact sheet looks at families within households using the following classification: couple only households, couple with child(ren) households, one parent with child(ren) households, and multi-family households (with two or more families2). It also looks at non-family households, including: multi-person households (with all unrelated people) and one-person households.

Māori families and households

More than 90 percent of Māori live in families within households; either in couple with child(ren) households (226,809 people3 or 42.9 percent), one parent with child(ren) households (140,130 people or 26.5 percent), multi-family households (60,639 people or 11.5 percent), or couple only households (52,752 people or 10.0 percent). In contrast, fewer than 10 percent of Māori live in non-family households: either in one-person households (24,954 people or 4.7 percent), or multi-person households (22,974 people or 4.3 percent).

The majority of Māori dependent children4 live in child(ren) households, one parent with child(ren) couple with child(ren) households (114,822 children households, and multi-family households (with or 53.1 percent), with the remainder living in either two or more families2). It also looks at non-family one parent with child(ren) households (76,490 households, including: multi-person households (with children or 35.4 percent) or multi-family households all unrelated people) and one-person households.(24,980 children or 11.5 percent).

Table 1: Number of households, people and dependent children for māori and the total population5

Household Type Households People Dependant children
Māori Total Māori Total Māori Total
Couple only 40,494 395,208 52,752 829,869    
Couple with child(ren) 74,292 423,366 226,809 1,726,461 114,822 687,671
One parent with child(ren) 53,712 166,974 140,130 497,943 76,490 217,723
Multi-family household 14,526 39,609 60,639 236,844 24,980 69,972
Multi-person household 15,918 72,558 22,974 188,541    
One-person household 24,957 328,299 24,954 328,302    
Total 223,938 1,454,175 528,312 3,894,891 216,292 975,366

Source: Statistics New Zealand, 2006 Census of Population and Dwellings.

Diversity within Māori families and households

Māori families and households are diverse. Many Māori households have members that are Non-Māori. Of the 747,030 people living in Māori households, 528,312 are Māori and 185,172 are Non-Māori6. Overall, more than half of Māori households (52.9 percent or 118,524 households) have members that are Non-Māori.

More than one-quarter of all dependent children in New Zealand (257,419 children or 26.5 percent) live in Māori households. This reflects the younger age structure of the Māori population, and the fact that a significant number of Non-Māori dependent children live in Māori households. Of the 257,419 dependent children living in Māori households, 216,292 are Māori and 30,482 are Non-Māori.

Graph 1: Number of households, people and dependent children in Māori and Non-Māori households

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Different household types at different ages

Māori are likely to live in different household types at different ages. At younger ages (0 to 14 years), Māori live in couple with child(ren) (53.1 percent), one parent with child(ren) (35.2 percent), or multi-family households (11.7 percent). This changes from ages 15 to 24, with an increase in the proportion of Māori living in couple only (9.0 percent) and multi-person households (9.0 percent). The next phase (25 to 39 years) sees an increase in the proportion of Māori living in couple with child(ren) households (43.9 percent). From age 40, the proportion of Māori living in couple only and one person households increases through to retirement age, with 35.2 percent of Māori living in couple only households and 26.8 percent in one person households among those aged 65 plus.

Graph 2: Proportion of Māori living in different Household types across different age groups

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Māori households changing over time

The composition of Māori households is changing over time. The proportion of Māori living in couple only households and one-person households has increased from 7.0 percent in 1991 to 10.0 percent in 2006 for couple only households, and 3.2 percent in 1991 to 4.7 percent in 2006 for one-person households, respectively. In contrast, the proportion of Māori living in couple with child(ren) households decreased from 49.9 percent in 1991 to 42.9 percent in 2006. The proportions of Māori living in one parent with child(ren) households and multi-family households are more variable, with no clear trends over time.

Graph 3: Proportion of Māori living in different Household types over time

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Differences in household income

Māori living in different household types experience significant differences in median household income7. Households in which multiple people are likely to be earning income have the highest household incomes, including $98,100 for multi-family households, $68,300 for couple with child(ren) households, and $62,400 for couple only households. In comparison, Māori living in households primarily or exclusively reliant on single incomes have the lowest household incomes, with $20,500 for one person households, and $28,000 for one parent with child(ren) households. Māori households tended to have slightly lower median household incomes than the total population (although not for couple only households), but the differences in income between household types were far greater.

Graph 4: Median household income of people living in different household types for Māori and the total population

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Differences across the regions

Across the regions, there were differences in the kinds of households that Māori tend to live in. These differences were greatest for the proportion of Māori living in multi-family households. Māori were most likely to live in multi-family households in Auckland (15.7 percent or 20,205 people), Gisborne (13.0 percent or 2,364 people), Hawke’s Bay (12.7 percent or 3,972 people), and Bay of Plenty (12.5 percent or 7,944 people). In contrast, Māori were most likely to live in couple with child(ren) households in Southland (49.2 percent or 4,782 people), Nelson/Tasman/Marlborough/West Coast (47.3 percent or 6,084 people), Otago (46.5 percent or 5,217 people), and Canterbury (45.6 percent or 15,672 people). Māori were most likely to live in one parent with child(ren) households in Gisborne (29.5 percent or 5,382 people), Hawke’s Bay (29.1 percent or 9,063 people), Taranaki (27.7 percent or 4,107 people), and Bay of Plenty (27.7 percent or 17,583 people).

Table 2: Percent of Māori living in different household types across each region

Region Couple only Couple with child(ren) One parent with child(ren) Multi-family household Total family households Multi-person household One-person household Total
non-family household
Northland 10.3 44.2 27.1 10.1 91.6 3.1 5.2 8.4
Auckland 9.0 40.2 26.9 15.7 91.7 4.5 3.7 8.3
Waikato 9.8 44.6 25.6 11.5 91.5 4.1 4.4 8.5
Bay of Plenty 9.3 42.5 27.7 12.5 92.0 3.4 4.6 8.0
Gisborne 8.8 40.5 29.5 13.0 91.7 3.0 5.2 8.3
Hawke’s Bay 8.6 41.0 29.1 12.7 91.4 3.6 4.9 8.5
Taranaki 10.2 44.7 27.7 7.5 90.2 3.8 6.0 9.8
Manawatu- Wanganui 9.9 44.4 27.2 8.9 90.4 4.3 5.3 9.6
Wellington 10.8 42.7 26.0 9.6 89.1 5.6 5.3 10.9
Nelson/Tasman/ Marlborough/ West Coast 13.6 47.3 22.8 6.6 90.3 4.1 5.6 9.7
Canterbury 11.9 45.6 24.8 6.9 89.2 5.5 5.2 10.8
Otago 14.4 46.5 19.5 4.4 84.8 10.0 5.2 15.3
Southland 12.9 49.2 22.5 5.4 90.0 3.8 6.2 10.0
New Zealand 10.0 42.9 26.5 11.5 90.9 4.3 4.7 9.1

Source: Statistics New Zealand, 2006 Census of Population and Dwellings.

[Footnotes]

  1. For the purposes of this factsheet, ‘Māori’ refers to usually resident individuals of Māori ethnicity.
  2. Multi-family households are households with two or more related or unrelated nuclear families and include families that span three or more generations.
  3. In order to protect confidentiality, Statistics New Zealand’s policy is to randomly round figures to base three. As a result, individual figures may not sum to totals and may differ slightly to those quoted in other publications.
  4. A dependent child is a child (birth/biological, adopted, step- or other) in a family nucleus who is aged under 15 years, or who is aged 15–17 and not employed full time.
  5. Totals for people and dependent children include Māori and Non-Māori plus those that did not state an ethnicity. Counts of people include all residents in a household, irrespective of whether they are part of a family nucleus or not.
  6. Counts for Māori and Non-Māori exclude those that did not state an ethnicity.
  7. Median household income is the midpoint of the income distribution, meaning half the population earn more, and half earn less, than this amount. Dollar amounts are gross annual household income and have not been inflation-adjusted.
  8. The regions employed in this section are Regional Council areas.

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Ngā Whānau me ngā Kāinga Māori

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