Māori teens receive more unsolicited naked images than other teen ethnicities

By Te Rina Kowhai

Māori teens are more likely to be asked for nude images of themselves than Pākehā, Pasifika, Asian and others according to a Netsafe report.

Digital advocate Karaitiana Taiuru says “The statistics show that Māori don't want to receive that information, those sort of images, and they don't believe that it is a good way to explore themselves or explore relationships.”

“I've picked up two main areas of concern- that Māori teenangers are more likely to be asked for naked images than any other ethnicity teenager in New Zealand.  And secondly that Māori teenagers are more likely than anyone else to receive unsolicited naked images of someone else on their device.”

Taiuru says the report highlights that a kaupapa māori research approach needs to be interwoven into a Māori based questionnaire to ascertain how vulnerable Māori children are to sexting.

He says “The Netsafe report, their primary purpose was to get information about all New Zealand teenagers, so there was no concentration on Māori teenage statistics and data.”

“I found it very difficult to ascertain what dangers [there were] and what was relevant for Māori teenagers.  So I extracted the data and made a report that's more easy for Māori and other stakeholders to be able to read.”

The 2017 report was conducted over a five week period with over 1,000 NZ teens aged between 14 and 17.

The report also says 24 percent of Māori have received unsolicited nude content compared to NZ European and Pacific at 18 percent.

Taiuru says “it does highlight that ethnicities need to be treated differently with internet safety resources. I think for too long there has been a belief that we are all kiwis and we all need the same resource.  I think this research shows that this is not the case and that we do need resources for Māori.”

Taiuru will be working with Netsafe to continue further research and develop resources to tackle the problem.

“We need to consider that we have generation of school children that speak Māori as a first language.  We need to consider a teenager that is brought up in a city, quite different to a Māori teenager brought up on a marae.  All these considerations need to be used in a new research report.”