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The paper critically evaluates Townsend’s concept of area based deprivation and suggest alternatives which give social justice a better chance. The authors consider that deprivation needs to be applied through a decolonizing lens to avoid faulty framing of populations and subsequent maintenance of current inequities in health and social outcomes. They also recommend the development of a tool which captures the measurement of unequal distribution of power and privilege in populations. It presents a perspective based in Aotearoa/Newzealand, where colonization has shaped the contours of racialised health inequities.

Keywords: Aotearoa/New Zealand, deprivation, disadvantage, health inequities, poverty, social justice, power/knowledge, privilege.