Statistics New ZealandFriday 26 October 2012, 12:05PM
Media release from Statistics New Zealand
A new survey from Statistics New Zealand should provide vital
information on whānau sizes and whānau well-being, after a pilot
study found whānau sizes ranged from one to 500 people.
Statistics NZ has today released a research report, Kei te pēwhea
tō whānau?, which outlines a new Māori-centred approach to
measuring whānau and whānau well-being. This approach will be used
in Te Kupenga, a survey of Māori well-being that Statistics NZ will
run in mid-2013.
In Te Kupenga, 5000 Māori individuals will be asked a range of
well-being questions about their whānau, including how they think
their whānau is doing, who is in their whānau, and the size of
their whānau. The new approach means that rather than restricting
respondents to thinking about people in their household, the survey
asks them to consider anyone they think of as whānau.
"What we've found in our pilot group is that while some people
believe their whānau is around the size of what people might think
of as a nuclear family, others see their whānau as having 50, 100,
or even 500 people," says Deputy Government Statistician Vince
Mr Galvin says it's important to stress that the pilot study is
not representative of the whole population, but was instead used to
identify how the full survey next year would gather useful
He says despite the limitations of the study, some of the pilot
study results look encouraging. "We're seeing that by far the
majority of participants felt that their whānau was doing
"The results are not conclusive, but they indicate what we can
learn about whānau if we try different things. For example, we can
understand the average size of whānau, how broadly Māori define
whānau, and how many Māori include non-blood relatives in their
whānau. When the full survey is carried out next year, the
information we gather should be useful for the likes of social
service providers and policymakers."
Mr Galvin says the study reflects what Māori researchers and the
Māori community have been saying to Statistics NZ about whānau.
"Māori have been telling us that whānau live across many
households, and can look quite different depending on how you
define them. With our new approach, we can find out more about
whānau, and meet community needs."