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Asian Communities Contributing to NZ

Asian Communities Contributing to NZ

New census data demonstrates the enormously valuable contribution Asian communities are making to New Zealand, Ethnic Affairs Minister Chris Carter said today.

The 2001 census shows that close to a quarter of a million people in New Zealand identify themselves with an Asian ethnic group, roughly 6.6% of the resident population. Included in this figure are the tens of thousands of fee-paying students from Asia.

"Asian people are participating at every level of New Zealand society, " Mr Carter said.

"The census shows that a high proportion of Asian people are in study. They are fueling New Zealand's billion dollar education industry which is creating jobs and revenue for the country.

"Asian people are almost twice as likely to hold a degree or a higher level qualification than is average for the total New Zealand population. That means they are an important source of skills for the economy," Mr Carter said.

"Asian people in employment are marginally more likely to be working in white collar positions, and there are over 6,000 Asian employers adding to the job market."

Mr Carter said Police statistics showed that members of the Asian community were also significantly less likely to be involved in crime. Only 2.2% of all people apprehended by Police in 2001/02 were of Asian ethnicity.

"Certain Members of Parliament have used the Asian community as a punch bag by peddling myth and innuendo," Mr Carter said.

"I don't think this section of society gets their due. Asians enrich our country in numerous ways and it is time that was recognised."

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