Māori and the poor suffer the most crime - report

Non-Māori and the elderly experience fewer crimes than Māori and the young, according to new figures released by the Ministry of Justice.

Just 4 percent of Kiwis experience 47 percent of all crime and 67 percent of interpersonal violence, according to data from the New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey, released on Friday. 

That highly victimised 4 percent each experienced four crimes or more in the preceding 12 months. Just over a quarter are Māori - despite making up only 16 percent of the population. Nearly half - 42 percent - are aged 15 to 29, with those aged over 65 experiencing little crime (only 18 percent, compared to the overall figure of 29 percent). Most - 80 percent - earn below $60,000. 

"Māori are significantly over-represented in the highly victimised four percent compared to other ethnic groups," said Ministry of Justice research manager James Swindells.

"New Zealand Europeans are evenly represented across victim groups whereas those who identify as Pasifika, Asian and other ethnicities are significantly under-represented."

Those in the highly victimised group were also less likely to report satisfaction with life and psychological distress, which the researchers said was "no surprise".

Most people - 71 percent - experienced no crime at all in the 12 months ahead of being surveyed. 

You're more likely to be a victim if you live in a low socio-economic area than a high one.

Females are more than twice as likely to be victims of family violence than men. They are four times more likely to be the victim of sexual assault. 

Few victims of family violence bother to contact support services - only about 23 percent. 

The survey estimated less than a quarter - 23 percent - of all crime is reported to police.

The full report can be read on the Ministry of Justice website.