Tairāwhiti - our health profile

Hauora Tairāwhiti covers the same area as the Gisborne District Local and Territorial authorities.

Covering an area of 8,351 square kilometres it makes up 3 percent of New Zealand’s land area.

Tairāwhiti’s total population, according to Statistics NZ is 49,100. Three quarters of the population lives in the city of Gisborne (Turanga-nui-a-kiwa).

A total of 45 percent of the population is Māori while people with Pacific and Asian descent make up 2.9 percent and 1.6 percent of the district’s population respectively.

Levels of Deprivation

Tairāwhiti has the highest level of deprivation than any other district, with two thirds of the population (65%) living in Decile 8-10. This trend is further exacerbated when split by ethnicity, with 77% of Māori in Te Tairāwhiti living within deciles 8-10, and 78% of Māori children under 10 living in Deciles 8-10. This remains the most important determinant of health for Tairāwhiti and its continuing inequity poses the biggest challenge in improving health and reducing inequality.

Thirty nine percent of the population are under 25 and 12% are over the age of 65. Our district has the highest proportion of under 25’s in NZ and one of lowest proportions of those over 65. For Māori only, 1 in 20 of the population are 65 or over, this compares to 1 in 6 for the Non Maori population being 65 or over.

Although at the last Census Statistics New Zealand projected an estimated annual growth of 0.2 percent, per year until 2011, the population is expected to decline by 3.9% in the next 20 years, but the 65 and over population is expected to increase to 23% of total population by 2031.

Poor health statistics

As a result of our population make-up, Tairāwhiti has the worst health burden nationally. We have the highest rates of overall avoidable mortality and morbidity, and high rates of ambulatory sensitive hospitalisations. Our access to some health services are the poorest nationally, for instance access to some cardiac treatment services and renal services.

Some of the factors contributing to our poor health statistics include high smoking and obesity rates (in some cases significantly higher than the national average), lower immunisation rates and a high level of health inequalities.

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