The largest survey conducted on Māori financial attitudes will look to discover how Māori identity shapes financial choices.
The Māori Identity and Financial Attitudes Study (Te Rangahau o Te Tuakiri Maori me Nga Waiaro a-Putea) is currently under way with 100,000 questionnaires delivered to people who indicated Māori descent on the electoral roll.
Dr Carla Houkamau is running the study with Associate Professor Manuka Henare and Professor Chris Sibley at the University of Auckland.
The study is about planning for the future, Dr Houkamau said.
"If we do not have reliable data on the attitudes and opinions of a large group of Māori it makes it harder to develop Māori economic policy that is more responsive to the cultural and social realities of Māori communities."
Dr Houkamau said Māori were less likely to own their own home, tend to have less personal savings and were less likely to enrol in KiwiSaver.
She said she wanted to know what kind of financial products and services may change this imbalance.
As associate dean of Māori and Pacific development at the University of Auckland Business School, Dr Houkamau was also concerned not enough Māori were enrolling in commerce degrees.
"The Māori economy is an important and growing part of New Zealand's economy and by 2040 Māori will be a significant proportion of our working-age population.
"I see so many opportunities in business and education positions with not enough graduates to full them."
The survey is part of a Marsden-funded project called How Great Can We Be: Identity Leaders of the Māori Economic Renaissance.