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New report details road safety outcomes for Māori

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In another step towards achieving the vision of an Aotearoa New Zealand where no one is killed or seriously injured in road crashes, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has today released He Pūrongo Whakahaumaru Huarahi Mō Ngā Iwi Māori (the Māori Road Safety Outcomes Report).

Me mahi tahi tatou mo te oranga o te katoa

We must work together for the wellbeing of all

Waka Kotahi Senior Manager Māori, Nicholas Manukau, says the development of He Pūrongo has grown from a key priority of New Zealand’s Road to Zero strategy—to support initiatives to improve Māori road safety.

“The Road to Zero strategy sets an interim target to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 40% by 2030. It provides an outline of how we will approach road safety challenges over the next decade and hold ourselves to account to save lives and meaningfully reduce trauma. A key action within Road to Zero is to better understand and improve road safety outcomes for Māori.

“We take a Safe System approach to road safety and by making roads and roadsides, speeds, vehicles and road use safer, we are working to reduce deaths and injuries for everyone travelling on Aotearoa roads. The changes we make across the transport system will improve safety for everyone, but we know we need to do more to support better outcomes for Māori. We are on a path to learn how we can do this in partnership with iwi Māori.

“Sadly, the research completed for the first phase of He Pūrongo confirms that Māori are over-represented in serious road crashes, experiencing higher rates of death and serious injuries than the general population.”

Particular areas of concern highlighted by the report include the over-representation in fatal and serious injury crashes of young Māori men, under-licensed driving, non-use of seatbelts and child restraints, and driving while impaired.

Due to limitations in the existing data and research, the report primarily looks at road user (human) factors. Importantly, the report also identifies where there are gaps in our knowledge that need to be addressed in partnership with Māori. These gaps include the potential influence of factors such as purpose of travel, road function, location type and speed limits on crashes involving Māori.

“The findings of He Pūrongo provide an evidence-based foundation for further targeted research to be undertaken, to inform discussions with road safety partners, and to support the development of partnerships with Māori to agree on the steps to support better road safety outcomes for Māori,” Mr Manukau says.

“We are committed to partnering with Iwi Māori to better understand the risks identified in the report and we will work together to determine how to best improve road safety outcomes with Māori. Through building relationships, we can work together to co-design culturally relevant road safety initiatives based on specific communities’ wishes and needs. Once we have an agreed way forward, we can then look at how we can support Iwi to introduce and maintain the initiatives in their communities.”

As part of the Road to Zero strategy, Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency), Ngā Pirihimana o Aotearoa (NZ Police) and Te Manatū Waka (Ministry of Transport), are working together to improve our understanding of road safety outcomes for Māori, and building relationships to identify actions that will improve the safety and wellbeing of Māori communities.

Superintendent Steve Greally, Director of the National Road Policing says “Police recognises the importance of this work and the intent to more fully engage with Māori in a meaningful and future-focused way. Safe travel should be something all road users enjoy, and Police takes its responsibilities very seriously as a good partner in realising that aspiration.”

The next steps in this journey may be challenging, but Waka Kotahi and our partners are committed to doing better for Māori, making sure that people are getting home safe and sound to their whānau, hapu and iwi.

Hapaitia te ara tika pumau ai te rangatiratanga mo nga uri whakatipu

Foster the pathway of knowledge to strength, independence and growth for future generations.

He Pūrongo and the summary document  

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