Report by Contributed by Motu

A large body of research shows that systems of beliefs and values can contribute to different economic and social outcomes. Cultures that believe luck and connections are more important to personal advancement than hard work, often end up achieving less material prosperity. Ones that emphasise tradition over technology can lead to less innovation and entrepreneurship.


Researchers at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research examined beliefs about the causes of wealth or poverty and the extent to which people are responsible for their own fate in New Zealand. They compared how these differ between Māori and non-Māori.

Māori are 12 percent more likely to believe that the causes of wealth come from connections and luck, instead of individual effort, and are 18 percent more likely to believe that the poor have been unfairly treated, compared to non-Māori. Māori are also 30 percent more likely to believe that the Government is doing ‘too little’ for those in poverty.

Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.