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Health status in New Zealand

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Overall, New Zealanders live relatively long and healthy lives. Life expectancy at birth sits at 81.4 years, above the OECD average of 80.5 years. It is below that of Australia, at 82.2 years, but higher than in the UK, at 81.1 years.

However, life expectancy is lower for Māori and Pacific populations by around six years. Māori and Pacific people are also two to three times more likely to die of conditions that could have been avoided if effective and timely health care had been available.

Another important metric is Disability-Adjusted Life-Years (DALYs), the sum of years of life lost from premature death and years lived with disability. One DALY equals one lost year of healthy life, and New Zealanders have a loss in DALYs of around the average compared with other high-income countries.

In recent years, life expectancy has continued to improve for all population groups, and the number of DALYs lost has continued to fall, although, as noted above, health inequities remain stubbornly high.
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