Breadcrumbs

Study exposes discrimination against Māori LGBTQI+ peoples

21 November 2020

Honour Project reports

New Zealand’s first study on the health and wellbeing of takatāpui and Māori LGBTQI+ peoples shows more must be done to reduce discrimination in health services and in public places.

Led by Te Whāriki Takapou, the Honour Project Aotearoa team included University of Waikato researchers Associate Professor Carl Mika, Dr Tāwhanga Nopera and Herearoha Skipper.

Released this month, the study explored people’s approaches to staying healthy and well in the face of challenging life experiences. It included 50 in-depth interviews and 368 survey responses from Māori who identified as takatāpui or LGBTQI+.

The research found 51% of participants had experienced racism, twice the percentage reported by the general Māori population, and 49% had experienced homophobia. A further 25% had experienced transphobia or misogyny at their GP clinic.

The report showed the concerning impact of discrimination on takatāpui and Māori LGBTQI+ peoples’ health and wellbeing. The majority of participants experienced loneliness, anxiety and depression, and 42% had self-harmed or attempted suicide.

University of Waikato Health Promotion Coordinator Dr Tāwhanga Nopera says the personal stories shared within the research were confronting. “Our whānau takatāpui have been experiencing a lot of harm, and it’s concerning that little is being done to address this harm. These people are our whānau, our koroua, kuia, aunts and uncles, siblings, nieces and nephews,” he says.

“While legislation is important, there is also a need for inclusive language that can help us encourage diversity. We need to embed aroha in the way we talk about what we perceive as difference. We need to increase our collective emotional intelligence as a way to create safe spaces for all people in our communities, especially our whānau takatāpui.”

Dr Nopera says positive gender identity, sexual identity and sexuality are key to our sense of self, self-esteem and ability to lead a fulfilling life.

“But health and wellbeing issues in Aotearoa are usually discussed using a Western heterosexual perspective. This research provides an opportunity to address the invisibility of LGBTQI+ peoples within policy and service provision in primary health care and other settings.”

For more information on the Honour Project Aotearoa, visit Te Whāriki Takapou’s website.


This research aligns with the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

Good Health and Well-being Gender Equality Reduced Inequalities

Latest stories

Related stories

Pregnant woman

Pregnant women missing out on diabetes checks

A University of Waikato study has found only 26.4% of women are screened for diabetes…

New Zealand forest atmosphere

University of Waikato researchers to uncover secrets of our planet

Three University of Waikato-led projects will unearth new knowledge of our natural environment after receiving…

New Tauranga aquaculture facility set to harness seaweed's potential

A brand-new aquaculture facility is now operating in Tauranga thanks to a $13 million algal…

Dr Alexis Marshall

Early career researcher awarded Rutherford Fellowship to investigate blooming Didymo

Does the dreaded Didymo bloom because of climate change, new environments or a genetic variant?…

Rugby ball on grass

Rugby players ate well, trained less over lockdown

University of Waikato researchers have found rugby players’ eating habits generally improved during the Covid-19…

Bee on flower in grasslands

More plant diversity means less pesticide for agriculture

Increasing plant diversity naturally controls plant-eating insects in grasslands, according to a study led by…

Shell

University of Waikato celebrates 13 Marsden Fund winners

University of Waikato researchers will lead 13 new programmes supported by the Marsden Fund covering…

Metformi

Lack of prescriptions affects Māori diabetes patients

University of Waikato researchers have found Māori patients receive fewer prescriptions for a common diabetes…

University of Waikato marine scientist awarded women’s global fellowship in climate change

Dr Shari Gallop, a marine environmental scientist and University of Waikato Senior Lecturer based in…

Health Research Council award winners

Māori and Pacific wellbeing focus for Health Research Council award winners

Four emerging University of Waikato researchers have received Health Research Council (HRC) Career Development Awards…

Dr Adele Williamson and Dr Jaimie Veale

Top Waikato researchers receive prestigious Rutherford Fellowship grants

Two top researchers at the University of Waikato have received $800,000 each as part of…

Professor Ross Lawrenson

Honorary Fellowship for Waikato Health expert

Ross Lawrenson, Professor of Population Health at the University of Waikato, has been awarded Honorary…