Māori health advocates are calling out a "torrent of negative messages from society" and low-self worth as a cause of the high injury rates of Māori men in the Bay of Plenty.
Out of the 910 patients admitted to Rotorua and Taupō Hospitals as a result of physical trauma in 2018, more than a third - 334 patients - identified as Māori, according to new data released by the Lakes District Health Board and the Midland Trauma System.
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Māori men aged between 15 and 39 had the highest incidence of injury among the demographics and were 1.91 times more likely to suffer physical trauma compared with male non-Māori.
The top causes of injury for Māori were falls, road traffic crashes and assault. For non-Māori, falls, pushbike, and motorcycle injuries were the top causes.
Māori youth mentor Rangi Ahipene and Ngāi Te Rangi's chief executive Paora Stanley both called for a holistic approach that included spiritual, mental and emotional health to address the high rate of injury.
Stanley said low self-worth contributed to the high rate of physical trauma in Māori men as they were more likely to engage in risky behaviours. This poor self-perception was also highlighted in high suicide rates for the demographic.
"They see themselves as having little use to society," Stanley said.
"You're not going to value your health if you don't value yourself or think you have a use-by date."
Rangi Ahipene said the high rate of physical trauma was connected to the "historical baggage" of colonisation and institutional racism.
He said Māori men were subjected to a "torrent of negative, both deliberate and subconscious messages from society". He said it was a societal problem, not just a Māori issue.
"Māori men start at negative 10 while European men start at zero," Ahipene said.
"There is no difference between European and Māori but we get this disparity when we create a societal environment that works for some and works against others."
A WorkSafe spokesperson said the rate of serious injury for Māori workers was among the highest within the total population.
Last year the rate of injury for Māori workers was 13.2 per 1000 workers, where the rate of injury for New Zealand European workers was 8.1 per 1000 workers, according to the spokesperson.
The spokesperson said Māori workers made up a significant portion of the workforce in typically higher-risk industries, including forestry, construction and agriculture.
The Rotorua Daily Post requested local data but WorkSafe did not keep data for Rotorua.
Police District Māori responsiveness manager, Inspector Phillip Taikato, said the Bay of Plenty police were focused on reducing family harm which was "the main root cause of offending" in the region through improved reporting and prevention of incidents.
He said a pilot for a family harm education and awareness programme working with perpetrators had been running for 12 months in the Bay of Plenty and anecdotal results showed results had been positive where participants had been referred to services.
Lakes DHB and ACC was approached for comment but a response was not provided before going to print.
Lakes area - injury breakdown
Fall - 114 events, 44.4 per cent
Road traffic crash - 48 events, 18.7 per cent
Assault - 41 events, 15.9 per cent
Unintentionally struck or hit - 25 events, 9.7 per cent
Motorcycle crash - 15 events, 5.8 per cent
Machinery - 14 events, 5.4 per cent
Fall - 225 events, 48.9 per cent
Pushbike - 90 events, 19.5 per cent
Motorcycle crash - 56 events, 12.2 per cent
Road traffic crash - 41 events, 8.9 per cent
Unintentionally struck or hit - 26 events, 5.6 per cent
Crushed - 22 events, 4.8 per cent
Source: Midlands Trauma System