Marae link important to Maori in advanced age
Māori in advanced age living in areas of higher socio-economic deprivation were significantly more likely to attend a marae, according to new research from the University of Auckland.
Almost all Māori participating in the study had been to a marae in the last 12 months.
This research looked at participation in Māori society in advanced age including attendance at marae and understanding tikanga (correct procedure or protocol within a Māori cultural context).
The report is one in a series from data gathered for the Life and Living in Advanced Age: a Cohort Study in New Zealand—Te Puāwaitanga O Ngā Tapuwae KIA Ora Tonu (LiLACS NZ).
Among the key findings, the research revealed that half of Māori in advanced age have a complete understanding of their tikanga. There was no significant difference between Māori men and women.
The research was led by University of Auckland Professor of Geriatric Medicine, Ngaire Kerse who notes that "engagement in culture is part of life for older Māori" and that this participation is "important for quality of life".
The report also describes participation of Māori in advanced age in cultural activities by sex and socio-economic deprivation.
Forty-seven percent of Māori reported that their contacts were mainly with other Māori, a further 31 percent had some contact with Māori and 22 percent had little or no contact with Māori.
Of the Māori who had been to a marae in the last 12 months, two out of three Māori (68 percent) reported attending a marae a few times, several times or more than monthly.
Thirty-two percent had attended a marae only once in the last 12 months, less than yearly or not at all. There was no significant difference in the frequency of marae attendance between Māori men and women.
Māori in advanced age from areas of higher socio-economic deprivation were significantly more likely to attend marae multiple times in the last year, than Māori who lived in areas of low socio-economic deprivation.
About half (51 percent) of Māori reported understanding their tikanga very or extremely well and a further 23 percent reported understanding their tikanga moderately well. There was no significant difference in completely understanding tikanga between men and women.
Both men and women who lived in areas of high socio-economic deprivation were significantly more likely to have complete understanding of their tikanga than those who lived in areas of low socio-economic deprivation.
The source of the data is Life and Living in Advanced Age: a Cohort Study in New Zealand—Te Puāwaitanga O Ngā Tapuwae Kia Ora Tonu (LiLACS NZ). Data was gathered in face-to-face, standardised interviews with Māori aged 80-90 years and non-Māori aged 85 years at home plus nursing assessments of physical function and cardiorespiratory health. The LiLACS NZ sample lives within the boundaries of the Bay of Plenty and Lakes District Health Boards, excluding the Taupo region of Lakes DHB. The participants were first interviewed and assessed in 2010 (the 'first wave' of data collection). This is a longitudinal study with annual data collection, subject to mortality and participant retention. The participation in Māori society data reported on is from 267 Māori participants who completed the full questionnaire during the first wave of data collection.