August 16, 2022
Health survey finds Māori social networks
A Canadian doctor who found himself immersed in Māori ways when he ended up in Dargaville 26 years ago believes the Māori health model has lessons for everyone.
Dr Stephen Child has overseen the Southern Cross-national survey on health and well-being from a physical, mental and spiritual perspective.
It found that while Māori was nearly a third less likely to see a doctor or dentist because of time or cost reasons, they had superior social networks.
For example, 12 percent of all respondents said they spent 11 hours a week of quality time with their kids, while 40 percent of Māori spent more than 40 hours with tamariki.
“The social health, the social connectedness and the spiritual health of Māori seem to be a lesson for others and if we can increase our social connectedness if we can get a better self-acceptance, that I think is going to be the solution,” Dr Child says.
The survey found messages about weight and exercise make people feel bad about themselves and unhappy.