The comparative wellbeing of the New Zealand Māori and Indigenous Australian

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

Professor Gray will be presenting collaborative work being undertaken with fellow ANU researcher Dr Boyd Hunter.

Some researchers have argued that strong periods of economic growth and economic downturns have a greater impact on the economic position of the Indigenous population than the non-Indigenous population in settler societies such as Australia and New Zealand. The Global Financial Crisis of 2007-08 negatively affected economic growth New Zealand in the two years after 2009 whereas the Australian economy experienced a reduction in economic growth but did not enter recession. This difference in macroeconomic conditions in countries with a similar colonial past provides an opportunity to explore the potential for differential effects of economic growth on Indigenous well-being. This paper argues that economic wellbeing can be partially enhanced by addressing broader macroeconomic factors (as evidenced by the outcome for employment and equivalised household income). However, institutional differences, cultural contexts and other societal factors are probably more important for explaining country-specific differences in observed trends in other measures of wellbeing such as psychological distress, incarceration rates and even suicide.