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Port city Auckland’s diversity a discovery

Monday, January 6, 2014
Port city Auckland’s diversity a discovery

New Zealand could soon be as well known for its cultural diversity as its dairy exports, according to an international documentary maker.

A Canadian-based documentary crew was in Auckland recently filming for a 2014 series on ‘Waterfront Cities of the World’, which will be shown on Discovery World and TV5.

Massey University sociologist Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley was among locals interviewed for the Auckland episode, and spent the day at the Otara Market with two film crews. As well as answering questions from the presenter, Sophie Fouron, he also helped her to interview market stallholders.

Ms Fouron told Professor Spoonley she was impressed with how friendly people were and commented that while New Zealand was known for its dairy exports, it should consider exporting its approach to diversity.

“The focus [of the interviews] was on Auckland’s immigrant and ethnic diversity,” says Professor Spoonley.“The presenter was also interested in Mäori and their reaction to recent immigration,” he added.

The preview for the series invites viewers to “discover the beauty and complexity of fascinating port cities around the globe”, with each episode an “in-depth look at the essence of these vibrant cities and the people that make them thrive”.

Professor Spoonley has spent more than 30 years researching New Zealand’s demographic, immigration and employment trends. His research focus in recent years has been on the impact of immigration and growing ethnic diversity of Auckland’s population, where 40 per cent of people were born outside New Zealand, and 23 per cent are Asian.

He and a team of researchers from Massey and Waikato Universities have examined the experiences of a range of migrant groups in Auckland, including Korean, Chinese, South African, Indian and British and are now looking at what the New Zealand population will look like in 2036.

The series will be broadcast in late 2014. Other cities in the series include Los Angeles, Shanghai, Seoul, Oslo and Mumbai.


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