This section presents data on smoking, immunisations, and self-harm as an indicator of mental health. Nationally, leading causes of hospitalisation among Māori aged 15 to 24 years include pregnancy and childbirth, injury, digestive system diseases, symptoms and signs (unknown causes), and mental disorders. Major causes of death for Māori in this age group include accidents, suicide, cancer, and homicide (Robson and Harris 2007).
Challenges faced by rangatahi Māori that can affect their health and wellbeing include socioeconomic factors, perceived positive school climate, access to healthcare, exposure to violence, and risky health behaviours including suicide attempts (Crengle et al, 2013). Other data related to youth can be found in the CYES reports on child and youth health. The Child and Youth Health Compass provides exemplars of youth specific services.
Figure : Trends in the proportion of students aged 14–15 years who have never smoked, by gender, Auckland DHB, 1999–2013
Source: ASH Year 10 Snapshot Survey, 2013
Over the last 15 years there has been a significant increase in the number of Māori aged 14 or 15 who have never smoked (Figure 2). In 2013, 61% had never smoked.
Source: 2013 Census, Statistics New Zealand
Note: Regular smoker defined as smoking at least one cigarette daily.
Smoking rates have decreased significantly among young Māori and non-Māori rangatahi in Auckland since 2006, and absolute gaps have reduced. However, smoking rates remain higher than those of non- Māori for all age groups. At ages 20–24 years, 28% of Māori were smoking regularly in 2013.
Table : Human papilloma virus immunisations (HPV) by birth cohorts, Auckland DHB, 1 September 2008 to 30 September 2014
Source: National Immunisation Register.
Three doses are required to be fully immunised. Young women are eligible for free vaccination up to the age of 20.
Nearly 70% of Māori girls aged 14 in 2014 had completed all three doses of HPV vaccine by September 2014, similar to non-Māori in the DHB but a higher coverage than all New Zealand girls of the same age (57%). Sixty-one percent of Māori and non-Māori women aged 17 in 2014 were fully immunised similar to the rate of non-Māori (60%).