Retirement hard-going for kaumātua, study finds

By Stefan Dimitrof

Kaumātua who plan to enjoy financial security in their twilight years may not have it as good as it should be.

Research findings from the Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission suggest the impacts of colonisation, structural inequality and land loss have caused a detrimental effect on Māori retirement.

Retirement Commission kaihautū Erin Thomson (Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Ngāti Tīpa), co-authored one of the papers and said that the point of the study was to bring the voices of kaumātua to light, showing the problems they faced and solutions for the future.

“We know through the research that only 40 per cent of our kaumātua have enough or more than enough to meet their everyday needs compared with 72 per cent of Pākehā.”

Thomson said elderly Māori had lower homeownership rates and less than half of Māori were just getting by in day-to-day living.

“They have lower homeownership, which significantly impacts on the distribution of income and are more likely to be living in a multigenerational environment; often supporting as primary caregivers”.

Thomson said that these were just a glimpse at the things that Māori kaumātua faced in retirement.