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Health in New Zealand

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New Zealand is a high income country, and this is reflected in the overall good health status of the population. However like other wealthy countries New Zealand suffers from high rates of obesity and heart disease.[1]

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History of New Zealanders' health

Māori life expectancy was about 30 years in the 18th century, similar to that of Western Europe. After Europeans brought new diseases, and loss of land impoverished many Māori, the childhood mortality rate was very high and Māori life expectancy dropped to 25 years for men and 23 years for women by the end of the 19th century.[2]

Pre-contact Māori viewed disease as a punishment for breaking tribal tapu but also recognised that some families were prone to certain disease. The standard practice of tohunga was to isolate the victim in a small shelter. The most common serious disease was tuberculosis (kohi). However, Māori did not recognise the symptoms as being from one disease. Kohi was considered the work of demons and caused by makutu (witchcraft).[3]

Public health programs

There are public health campaigns for obesity, drinking, smoking and various vaccines.

Health care

Mental health

Health statistics

Obesity rates as a percentages of total population in OECD member countries in the years 1996–2003.  New Zealand is 7th, with 20.9% of the adult population having a body mass index of greater than 30.
Obesity rates as a percentages of total population in OECD member countries in the years 1996–2003. New Zealand is 7th, with 20.9% of the adult population having a body mass index of greater than 30.

The following statistics are a sample from the World Health Organization Statistical Information System. The year on which the data were sampled follows the statistic in brackets.

  • Demographics
    • Population (in thousands): 4,460 (2012)
    • Total fertility rate (per woman): 2.07 (2012)
    • Adolescent fertility rate (%): 27 (2004)
  • Funding
    • Per capita government spending (PPP Int $): 1,905 (2006)
    • Per capita total spending (PPP Int $): 2,447 (2006)
    • Total expenditure (% of GDP): 9.4 (2006)
  • Life expectancy
    • Life expectancy at birth (years): 82 (2012)
    • Life expectancy for females (years): 84 (2012)
    • Life expectancy for males (years): 80 (2012)
    • Neonatal mortality (per 1,000 live births): 3 (2012)
    • Infant mortality (per 1,000 live births): 5 (2012)
    • Years of life lost to communicable diseases (%): 5 (2002)
    • Years of life lost to injuries (%): 17 (2002)
    • Years of life lost to non-communicable diseases (%): 79 (2002)

Life expectancy is lower for the Māori and Pacific populations by around six years.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Streib, Lauren (8 February 2007). "World's Fattest Countries". Forbes. Retrieved 12 February 2009.
  2. ^ Pool, Ian (14 March 2019). "Death rates and life expectancy". Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  3. ^ Buck, Peter (1910). "Tuberculosis". Medicine Amongst the Maoris, in Ancient and Modern Times. pp. 72–73. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  4. ^ "New Zealand's health service performs well, but inequities remain high". The Conversation. 20 September 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2018.

This page was last edited on 5 October 2019, at 02:32
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