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Research Results

72% of Māori believe there is racism in NZ Police

5 Jul 22

72% of Māori  believe there is racism in NZ Police
The Hui - police and panel have their say on racism and Police

A large majority of Māori believe there is racism in the NZ Police force of some kind.

However, more than eight out of ten Māori value the work police do.

And seven out of ten who have been victims of crime rate their handling of complaints they laid as good to excellent.

These are the results of a special poll of Māori conducted by Horizon Research for the television programme The Hui.

Results were broadcast on July 4 and The Hui's panel discussion, also involving Police, is available on YouTube.


  • 72% of Māori surveyed believe there is racism in the NZ Police force, involving either systemic racism, or individual officers.

  • Only 22% believe there is no racism.
  • 79% of younger Māori (18-34 year olds) believe there is racism in the NZ Police Force compared with 53% of Māori aged 55+.

Experienced racsim

37% of Māori say they or someone in their immediate whānau has experienced racial discrimination by a member of NZ Police during the past five years. 23% say they have experienced this one or more times while 3% say they have experienced it 10 or more times.

  • This rises to 48% of 18-34 year olds, compared with 18% of 55+ year olds.

Victims of crime

  • 46% of Māori have been a victim of crime and laid a complaint with Police. This is lower for 18-34 year olds (39%).

Police performance on complaints

  • Despite the belief that NZ Police is racist toward Māori, 70% of those who had been victims of a crime and laid a complaint to police, rate police handling of their complaint as good to excellent.

Who rated the Police positively in their handling of the complaint?

  • 72% of 35-54 year olds and 77% of people aged 55+ years
  • 72% of men versus 66% of women.

Large majrotiy value the work Police do

An overwhelming 82% value the work the NZ Police do.

Value ratings vary by age group.

At 92%, people aged 55+ value the work of Police, compared with 80% of 18-34 year olds and 79% of 35-54 year olds.

Confidence in the justice system

Respondents were invited to think of the justice system as involving the courts, police, legal profession and other agencies.

A majority of Māori adults (55%) are not confident the justice system is performing fairly for Māori. 39% are confidence is it.

Similar to other results, there is a difference between age groups. Younger Māori feel less confident the justice system is performing fairly for Māori.

60% of Māori aged 55+ years believe it performs fairly. This is significantly higher than the 28% of 18-34 year olds who believe it performs fairly.

A copy of the survey report can be downloaded here.

Newshub has reported the survey.

You're welcome to discuss the results at Horizon's Facebook page.

Sample and methodology

Members of the nationwide HorizonPoll and Horizon Research Māori panels, and two third-party panels used for source diversity, who identify as Māori and are all aged 18+, responded to this online survey between 20 and 30 May 2022.

The total sample of 502 respondents is weighted on age, gender, level of education, annual income, region and ethnicity to be representative of the New Zealand Māori population at the 2018 census, extrapolated to the first quarter of 2022. At a 95% confidence level, the survey has a maximum margin of error of ±4.4% overall.


For more information about this survey, please contact:

Graeme Colman, Principal, Horizon Research, telephone 021 84 85 76, email

Julia Ord, Manager, Horizon Research, telephone 027 706 8790, email

Data ownership

The survey’s results and data are the property of Horizon Research Limited. 

Additional data tables are available to Horizon clients.

Download the full report

View The Hui wānanga on results.