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Asians in New Zealand to increase as Asia rises


Monday, 7 July 2008

Asians in New Zealand to increase as Asia rises

New Zealand’s Asian populations will continue to grow as the country’s dependence on the Asian region increases as a driver of economic growth, says a new Asia New Zealand Foundation report.

For the past 20 years, successive New Zealand governments, as well as the business community and the education sector, have been seeking to position New Zealand as an active participant in Asia.

An important component of this has been the opening up of New Zealand to immigration of talent, capital and visitors from Asia.

The new Asia New Zealand Foundation report explores the implications of New Zealand’s changing demography as a result of this closer engagement with the Asian region.

The report, Asians in New Zealand: Implications of a Changing Demography, comes soon after the publication of the Asia New Zealand Foundation report Diverse Auckland.

Researched and written by Professor Richard Bedford and Dr Elsie Ho of the University of Waikato’s Population Studies Centre, Asians in New Zealand is an important and timely study.

The signing of the free trade agreement with China in April, the first such bilateral agreement to be achieved by a Western country, is a clear sign of the importance New Zealand government and business interests place on strengthening relationships with Asia.

As a result the number of Asian people wanting to live in New Zealand will continue to increase, as it has over the past 20 years. The report examines a number of projections taking into account immigration flows, birth rates and outward migration.

The report concludes that inevitably, New Zealand’s population will continue to become more Asian beyond 2026 and that component will grow to exceed the Maori population.

It also notes that as the New Zealand-born Asian population increases both in size and share of the total in this country, larger shares of the Asian population will be of mixed ethnicities and counted in more than one population.

The report also emphasises that while it remains common practice in New Zealand to refer to the country’s Asian population as a single entity, the label needs to be viewed in light of the great diversity of peoples from Asia.

The Asians in New Zealand: Implications of a Changing Demography report is now available from the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

Other recent Asia New Zealand Foundation reports:

• Diverse Auckland: The Face of New Zealand in the 21st Century? by Wardlow Friesen, University of Auckland

• Friends and Allies: The Impacts of Returning Asian Students on New Zealand-Asia Relationships by Terry McGrath, Paul Stock and Dr Andrew Butcher


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