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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 10. 24 May 1972

Second Best Health

Second Best Health

In matters of health and life expectancy the Maori comes a poor second to the Pakeha. Maori infant mortality is nearly twice as high as that of the pakeha. Because of their poor home environment Maori babies are at a risk between the time they leave the hospital and the first year of life. Once past the hazards of infancy the Maori enjoys poorer health than the Pakeha. For instance the Maori death rate from tuberculosis is seven times higher than that of the Pakeha (14.8 against 2.6 per thousand.) This pattern is consistent for other illnesses and adds up to a life expectancy for the Maori, lower by 8½ years than the Pakeha counterpart. Perhaps one of the few advantages that the Maori has over the Pakeha is his attachment to life. The Pakeha suicide rate is three times higher than that of a Maori.