QuickStats About Māori

Māori Descent and Iwi / Ko ngā Kāwai Whakaheke Māori me ngā Iwi

Māori descent refers to those people who are of Māori ancestry. The Māori descent count forms the basis of producing iwi statistics.

  • In 2006, there were 643,977 (17.7 percent) people usually living in New Zealand who were of Māori descent. This is a 6.6 percent increase from 2001, an 11.1 percent increase from 1996, and a 26.0 percent increase from 1991.
  • Around one-third (34.5 percent) of people of Māori descent were aged under 15 years, while 4.3 percent were aged over 65 years.
Māori Descent Population
1991–2006 Censuses
Census year  Māori descent population
 1991  511,278
 1996  579,714
 2001  604,110
 2006  643,977
  • In 2006, the largest iwi for people of Māori descent was Ngāpuhi with 122,211 people. Since 2001, Ngāpuhi has increased by 19,230 people (18.7 percent).
  • In the South Island, Ngāi Tahu is by far the largest iwi with a count of 49,185 people of Māori descent. Ngāi Tahu is also the fourth largest iwi overall. 
  • A total of 102,366 people of Māori descent did not know their iwi. This is a decrease of 8.4 percent, compared with 2001, and a 9.1 percent decrease since 1996.
Ten Largest Iwi
2006 Census  
Ngāpuhi 122,211
Ngāti Porou 71,910
Ngāti Kahungunu 59,946
Ngāi Tahu/ Kāi Tahu 49,185
Te Arawa 42,159
Ngāti Tūwharetoa 34,674
Ngāti Maniapoto   33,627
Waikato   33,429
Tūhoe   32,670
Ngāti Awa   15,258

Note:

(1) Ngāti Kahungunu includes Ngāti Kahungunu ki te Wairoa, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Ngāti Kahungunu – region unspecified, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Whanganui-a-Orutu, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tamatea, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tamakinui a Rua, Ngāti Pāhauwera, and Ngāti Rākaipaaka.
(2) Te Arawa includes Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Rangiteaorere, Ngāti Rangitihi, Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Tapuika, Tarāwhai, Tūhourangi, Uenuku-Kōpako, Waitaha, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Tahu-Ngāti Whaoa, and Te Arawa waka / confederation.

For further information ...

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