Updated 2006-base projections of four broad and overlapping ethnic populations – 'European or Other (including New Zealander)', Māori, Asian, and Pacific – were released in September 2010. These supersede the 2006-base subnational ethnic population projections released in September 2008. The updated projections cover the period to 2021 at five-year intervals, by sex and five-year age group (to 85 years and over), for the population usually living in the following areas:
- European or Other: all 16 regional council areas (regions) and 72 of the 73 territorial authority areas (cities and districts)
- Māori: 16 regions and 56 territorial authority areas
- Asian: 10 regions and 17 territorial authority areas
- Pacific: 9 regions and 18 territorial authority areas.
The projections are based on boundaries existing at 30 June 2009.
The projections are limited to selected geographic areas, broad ethnic groups, and a projection period of 15 years because of the small size of many subnational ethnic populations, and because of the uncertain nature of ethnic and subnational population projections, as discussed in Nature of projections. Selected information is published in the tables and more information is available for users requiring other ethnic population projections.
The projections are neither predictions nor forecasts. They are an indication of future changes which would occur if the stated assumptions were to apply over the projection period. Ethnic population projections are derived to provide information about New Zealand's changing demographic structure. They assist a variety of policy, planning, and research purposes. In addition, the projections provide information for ethnic communities to understand changes in their population size and composition.
It is important to note that these ethnic populations are not mutually exclusive because people can and do identify with more than one ethnicity. People who identify with more than one ethnicity have been included in each ethnic population.