1 Jul 2013

Laws needed to protect Maori in Australia - demographer

10:27 am on 1 July 2013

A demographer says legislation should be brought in to protect the growing number of vulnerable Maori living in Australia.

Tahu Kukutai, a senior research fellow at the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis, has released a report on Maori living across the Tasman.

She says more Maori live in Queensland than in 10 of the 16 regions in New Zealand.

Ms Kukutai says the employment rate of Maori migrants in the prime working age is higher than the national average, and it's not right that many don't have social security if they lose their jobs.

She says about 128,000 Maori live in Australia, and as long as flights are cheap and the job market there is strong, that number will continue to increase.

But Ms Kukutai says unless legislation is created to give them access to social security, Maori will continue to be vulnerable.