Racial And Ethnic Biases In Providing Health Care In New Zealand

2137 words - 9 pages

The country of New Zealand is located in the southern hemisphere, 7787 nautical miles from the United States and yet its original inhabitants face the same discrimination as the Native American people of the United States. New Zealand prescribes to the United Nations and is subject to the same Human Rights rules as others who currently consider themselves part of the United Nations. Before European colonization, the Maori people were the original inhabitants of New Zealand. Similarly to the United States, Europeans began land grabs and relocations against the Maori. Treaty of Waitangi, which was signed in 1840, guaranteed that the Maori were given specific protections and land grants. The treaty has constrained European political parties in New Zealand from controlling all aspects of society and acts a minimal buffer against a caste system that has been constructed under the Governmental policies. The treaty has allowed for the rule of the Maori people to remain with the tribal leaders (Simmons, Mafile'o, Webster, Jakobs, Thomas, “The Challenge of …in Anti-Racist Practice”, p. 367, 2008). Conversely, New Zealand is seen as a majority European culture which holds 71.2% of the population, second is the native Maori at 14.1% and third is Asian at 11.3%, Pacific peoples, Middle Eastern, Latin American and African round out the remaining approximately 6% ("Australia-Oceania :: New Zealand", 2014). Three-fourths of the population is Pakeha, the social construct can be seen through the lens of the white male patriarchal society. Continued attempts to minimize and invalidate the rights of the Maori people. According to Kirkwood, Liu & Weatherall (2005), continuity of identity of the Maori people is an absolute requirement in order to remain protected under the treaty. However, political engines attempt to undermine the identity by using arguments of dramaturgy in the actions of societal unpinning’s and changing identities to erase the cultural and blood lineages of the Maori people (p. 496). Arguing a National identity is more important than the allowance for individual ethnic ideologies, allows for the ethnic majority to paint the minority groups in a negative light as social deviants (p. 496). Mainstream media, Governmental agencies and the social stratification have allowed for the minimization of the needs of the minority groups which in turn allows for unequal access to needed health resources. Biases towards indigenous people and the lack of a majority voice in the social ideology has allowed for the inadequate health care for the minority inhabitants of New Zealand p. (367). Personal identity and the social construct of perceived identification with race; ethnicity or class are determinate factors that affect a person’s worldviews.
Cormack, Harris and Stanley (2012), provided research “Investigating the Relationship between Socially-Assigned Ethnicity, Racial Discrimination and Health Advantage in New Zealand”, they identified a...

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