Ethnic differences in patterns of occupational exposure in New Zealand




To investigate the differences in occupational exposure between Māori (New Zealand's indigenous people) and non-Māori.


Participants were randomly selected from the Electoral Roll. Exposure to occupational risk factors was assessed through telephone interviews and exposure prevalences of Māori (n = 273) and non-Māori (n = 2,724) were compared. Subsequently, Māori were matched with non-Māori on current occupation (n = 482) to assess whether ethnic differences also exist within occupations.


Māori were more likely to report exposure to physical strain (e.g., lifting, standing). Part of these differences remained when Māori were compared with non-Māori in the same job. In addition, Māori women were twice as likely to categorize their job as very or extremely stressful than non-Māori women in the same job, while Māori men were twice as likely to report exposure to dust.


Marked ethnic differences exist in risk factors for occupational ill-health, due to both occupational distribution and the distribution of tasks within occupations. Am. J. Ind. Med. 54:410–418, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.