Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences


Understanding the difference between ethnicity and ancestry in population

Ancestry and ethnicity are different concepts.  In studies which include components of genetic research, ethnicity cannot be used as a proxy for ancestry. It is important to be clear about these definitions and to use the appropriate concept.

Definition of Ancestry

Ancestry is appropriate when family history or lineage is being considered in the research hypothesis.  Read pages 11 - 16.   Follow this link

Because ancestry is aligned with whakapapa, further consultation may be necessary with relevant iwi, hapū and whānau groups.

Please discuss this with the Tumuaki’s office.

Definition of Ethnicity

Ethnicity is appropriate when social groups and/or socially constructed behaviours are considered. Read pages 11 - 16. Follow this link

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