To examine diagnostic and treatment pathways for Māori (the indigenous people of New Zealand [NZ]) and NZ European men with prostate cancer in order to identify causes of higher mortality rates for Māori men. All Māori men (150) diagnosed with prostate cancer in the Midland Cancer Network region between 2007 and 2010 were identified from the NZ Cancer Registry and frequency age-matched with three randomly sampled NZ European men. Clinical records of these men were searched for information on clinical stage at diagnosis, comorbidities, and type of treatment for localised disease. The final cohort included 136 Māori and 400 NZ European men, of whom 97 Māori and 311 NZ European were diagnosed with localised prostate cancer. Māori men were twice as likely to be diagnosed with distant metastases compared with NZ European men (19.1 vs 9.8 %). Māori men with localised disease were less likely to be treated with radical prostatectomy compared with NZ European men [RR 0.66 (95 % CI 0.48, 0.90)]. Multivariate regression analysis adjusted for age, D’Amico risk strata, comorbidities, and socioeconomic deprivation showed that Māori men were more likely to be managed expectantly [RR 1.74 (95 % CI 1.06, 2.57)]. Differences between Māori and NZ European men observed in the management of localised prostate cancer cannot be readily explained by patient characteristics, such as comorbidities or risk assessment at diagnosis. Poorer outcomes for Māori men may not only be related to later stage at diagnosis but differences in treatment modalities may also be a factor.