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An investigation of child restraint/seatbelt usage in motor vehicles by Maori in Northland New Zealand
  1. M Brewin,
  2. T Peters
  1. Injury Prevention Research Centre, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to:
 Marilyn Brewin, Injury Prevention Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand;


Objective: To investigate child restraint/seatbelt use by the indigenous (Maori) population in Northland New Zealand.

Method: Observational surveys were conducted at the two main car parks (McDonald’s and the largest supermarket) to determine the number of passengers restrained, the type of restraints, and correct use. Observations were restricted to those who were obviously Maori, based upon the local knowledge of the observer. In addition, face to face questionnaires were administered to Maori whanau/caregivers involved in the care of two or more children for more than three days a week.

Results: A total of 788 participants were observed. Babies were those most likely to have all occupants restrained correctly (97%), followed by toddlers (66%), adults (56%), and school age children (48%); 138 interviews were conducted. Females (86%) were significantly more likely to ensure that all passengers were restrained on short journeys compared to males (67%; p<0.05). Respondents under 45 (80%) were significantly less likely to restrain child passengers compared to people aged 45 or older (91%; p<0.05).

Discussion: This study highlights the problem that larger families in this study had in providing correct child restraints for all their children.

  • child car restraint usage
  • indigenous people

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