The Annual Child Poverty Monitor reports on child poverty measures and child-poverty-related indicators. Around one in three Māori children are defined as living in poverty. While the Monitor is a prompt for government action to reduce child poverty, it has been criticised as presenting a negative view of the lives of Māori children and whānau. This paper considers whether a fuller picture of the lived realities of Māori children can be gained from routinely collected data, using a lens of tamariki Māori wellbeing.
Māori wellbeing is the foundation of Māori development, yet Indigenous peoples (including Māori) are often invisible in universal measures of wellbeing. In 2006 Mason Durie outlined Māori-specific measures of wellbeing, built upon Māori understandings of what constitutes a “good life”. Following Durie this paper describes developments in the culturally responsive measurement of Māori wellbeing. These have culminated in Te Kupenga, the 2013 survey of Māori wellbeing by New Zealand Statistics, and two Māori mental wellbeing assessment tools, Hua Oranga and the Meihana Model.