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Important Information | National Trend | Regional Trend | Territorial Authority Trend

Ethnic Group Tables

This profile conveys information about the six dimensions of housing adequacy.

National Trend

Since 1840, when Mäori were the dominant ethnic group in New Zealand, the Mäori population has been through a number of demographic, social and political changes. By the end of the nineteenth century, the effects of early colonisation, wars and epidemics had reduced the Mäori population to a low of around 40,000. The non-Mäori population increased rapidly from 1840, and by the turn of the century outnumbered Mäori by more than 16 to 1.1 The early twentieth century saw Mäori population numbers begin to recover. By the 1991 Census, the Mäori ethnic group numbered 434,847 people, 12.9 percent of the New Zealand resident population. At the 2001 Census, people identifying with the Mäori ethnic group had risen to 526,281 or 14.1 percent of the New Zealand resident population.

Statistical definitions of Mäori have varied over time. Prior to the 1986 Census, definitions of Mäori were generally based on biological criteria, such as 'half or more Mäori blood'. From 1986 the emphasis of the census question on ethnicity changed to enable people to identify with the Mäori ethnic group on the basis of cultural affiliation.2 Ethnicity is self-perceived and people can belong to more than one ethnic group.

Ethnicity is an individual characteristic and therefore cannot be directly applied to a household. This analysis uses the individual ethnicity responses of household members to compile the ethnic data for a household with at least one usual resident of the Mäori ethnic group (or other ethnic group). The analysis only uses data from the 1991 and 2001 Censuses because in these two years the ethnicity question was almost the same, whereas in 1996 the question changed, affecting interpretations of trends. For further information on ethnicity issues please see Change in Ethnicity Question.

1 Statistics New Zealand (1998). New Zealand Now: Mäori, Statistics New Zealand, Wellington.
2 ibid.

In 1991, there were 153,870 households with at least one person of Mäori ethnicity. By 2001, this number had increased to 202,248 households. In percentage terms, in 1991, households with at least one person of Mäori ethnicity represented 13.2 percent of all households in New Zealand, and, by 2001, the figure reached 15 percent. This increase of 1.8 percentage points is second only to households with at least one person of Asian ethnicity, which increased by 3.2 percentage points to reach 6.2 percent of all households in New Zealand in 2001. Households with at least one person of European ethnicity, in contrast, were the only group to decrease between 1991 and 2001, down from 90 percent to 85.5 percent of total households in the country, although these households still increased numerically, up by 99,255 households in this period. Households with at least one person of Mäori ethnicity experienced the second lowest percentage change in numbers between 1991 and 2001 at 31.4 percent. The European group was lowest, at 9.5 percent, and the Other ethnic group highest, at 202 percent.

Figure 1

Graph, Number of Households by Ethnic Group of At Least One Person in Household.

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings, 1991 and 2001

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Regional Trend

Auckland Region had the largest number of households with at least one person of Mäori ethnicity in 2001, at 48,624 households or 24 percent of the total number of this type of household in New Zealand, an increase of 11,697 households since 1991. The largest percentage change in the number of these households was in Nelson Region, which experienced an 80.4 percent increase between 1991 and 2001 (810 households in 1991 compared with 1,461 households in 2001). The lowest percentage change was in Gisborne Region, at 20.2 percent.

Figure 2

Graph, Percentage Change in Number of Households With at Least One Person of Mäori Ethnicity by Region.

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings, 1991 and 2001

In 2001, Gisborne Region had the highest percentage of households with at least one person of Mäori ethnicity (43.2 percent), up by 5.4 percentage points since 1991. The second highest percentage was in Northland Region, at 28.8 percent and the third highest was recorded in Bay of Plenty Region, at 25.7 percent. Otago Region, at 7.7 percent, had the lowest proportion of households with at least one person of Mäori ethnicity. Canterbury Region had just 8.1 percent and Tasman Region had 8.5 percent.

In the North Island regions, there were 171,612 households with at least one person of Mäori ethnicity in 2001, 84.9 percent of the total number of this type of household. This percentage has decreased from 86.5 percent in 1991.

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Territorial Authority Trends

Manukau City had the most households with at least one person of Mäori ethnicity in both 2001 (14,373 households), and in 1991 (11,376 households). Queenstown-Lakes District recorded a significant percentage change (214.8 percent) in the number of these households between 1991 and 2001, increasing to 510 such households in 2001. Rodney District had the next largest percentage change, at 82.4 percent or 2,763 households in 2001. Ruapehu District had the smallest percentage change (1 percent), recording 1,800 of these households in 2001.

More than one in two households in Wairoa District (54.7 percent or 1,692 households) and Kawerau District (54.5 percent or 1,260 households) had at least one person identifying with the Mäori ethnic group. In contrast, approximately one in twenty households in Waimate District had at least one person of Mäori ethnicity (5.4 percent or 153 households) (see figures 3 and 4).

Three territorial authorities experienced a small decline between 1991 and 2001 in the proportion of households with at least one person of Mäori ethnicity. Taupo District decreased by 0.6 percentage points, Far North District by 0.3 percentage points and Auckland City by 0.2 percentage points. Although Manukau City has the largest number of households of this type, proportionally such households only made up 17.3 percent of all households, a 0.3 percentage point increase from 1991.

Figure 3

Table, Ten Territorial Authorities With Highest Proportion of Households With at Least One Person of Mäori Ethnicity.

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings, 1991 and 2001

Figure 4

Table, Ten Territorial Authorities With Lowest Proportion of Households With at Least One Person of Mäori Ethnicity.

Source: Statistics New Zealand, Census of Population and Dwellings, 1991 and 2001

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Important Information

Ethnic Group

Ethnicity is the ethnic group or groups that people identify with or feel they belong to. Thus, ethnicity is self-perceived and people can belong to more than one ethnic group. Ethnicity is a measure of cultural affiliation, as opposed to race, ancestry, nationality or citizenship. An ethnic group is a social group whose members share a sense of common origins, claim a common and distinctive history and destiny, possess one or more dimensions of collective cultural individuality and feel a sense of unique collective solidarity.

Ethnic groups used in this analysis are:

  • European
  • Mäori
  • Pacific Peoples
  • Asian
  • Other

Ethnicity is an individual variable and, therefore, cannot be directly applied to a household. This analysis uses the individual ethnicity responses of household members to compile the ethnic data for a household with at least one usual resident of a particular ethnic group. The ethnicity responses are grouped at the highest level of the classification into the five ethnic groups, European, Mäori, Asian, Pacific Peoples and Other.

A person may specify more than one ethnicity, therefore the sum of individual cells in a table may add to more than the total population or total households. A person and a household can only be counted once within an ethnic group but may be counted more than once across the ethnic groups.

The ethnic data used in this analysis has been output using up to three responses per person. If a person gave more than three responses, the three ethnic groups output are those that take the highest priority under the priority recording system. This is the same method used in 1991 and 1996. Data for 2001 can also be output with up to six responses.

Changes to the form of the ethnicity question used in the 1996 and 2001 Census have resulted in some data that is not consistent between 1991 and 1996 nor between 1996 and 2001. This applies particularly to the 'European' ethnic groups, including the 'New Zealand European' ethnic group, but also to the 'Mäori' ethnic group. Data between 1991 and 2001 may not be affected. To measure real effects of population change, comparison should be made between 1991 and 2001 census data. More information on the changes and the impact on data can be found in the document Change in Ethnicity Question.

Calculations

Percentages have been calculated using stated answers only.

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