Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


The Surprising Truth

The Surprising Truth

New Zealand is more ethnically diverse, tolerant and unequal than ever before. Eight-seven per cent of us now live in cities, the regions are declining… and almost nothing is as it seems.

In the second of six special reports on the state of the nation celebrating 25 years of publication, New Zealand Geographic documents startling social change in Aotearoa. Despite being the last land mass to be inhabited, we are now one of the most ethnically diverse with 213 ethnic groups calling New Zealand home. And despite priding ourselves on our egalitarian society, the gap between rich and poor is growing faster here than almost any other OECD country.

“Understanding the implications of change is critical for the way we plan our society,” says editor James Frankham. “Our cities are growing fast, our population is getting older and more ethnically diverse. In the seven years between the last two censuses, more than half of our population growth occurred in Auckland. How do we accommodate this growth and the changes in how we live? And how do we ensure that declining regions maintain their provision of services?”

The New Us, a 34-page mega-feature in New Zealand Geographic, investigates the surprising changes in the structure of our society, and some of the issues those changes will present over the next 25 years.

In the mid 20th century, researchers considered the terms ‘household’ and ‘family’ to mean the same thing. Not any more. Fifty years ago, only one in ten households contained a person living alone. Today, it is one in four.

“This is a major sociological shift,” says Waikato University social researcher Mervyl McPherson. “It has an impact right across our society. It’s fundamental to how we plan our society. Single-person households once were transitory. Now they’re a lifestyle choice.”

But the single person household is only the beginning. The proportion of households containing couples with children has halved. We’re getting increasingly diverse in the way we live, and increasingly unequal. The top ten per cent of the population controls more than half of the nation’s wealth. The poorest half of the population have just five per cent.

“The egalitarian society of our imagination is eroding rapidly,” says Frankham. “And the great kiwi dream of a house and a happy family has also changed beyond recognition. We are more diverse and perhaps more interesting as a society than most of us would have suspected.”

“Adversity was the shared experience of any settler to this archipelago, whether Maori, Pakeha or recent migrant,” Greg Bruce writes in the feature. “Crossing large distances, often at great risk, giving up a life elsewhere for a new land and an unknown culture; it takes strength of character. Though we’re diverse and changing rapidly, this resilient spirit might be the one characteristic that binds all New Zealanders—a valuable quality for an uncertain future.”

Future issues in the magazine’s 25th year will focus on land and food, ice and climate, forests and conservation, seas and sustainability—the concerns that the nation will grapple with over the next quarter century. The March/April 2014 issue goes on sale nationwide today.

SIDEBAR: THE SURPRISING TRUTH

• 213 ethnic groups now live in New Zealand. One in eight New Zealanders is Asian, nearly a quarter of Aucklanders are Asian.

• One in four households now contains someone living alone (50 years ago it was one in 10). It’s estimated by 2033, there will be more people living alone than with someone else.

• Any city made up of more than 25 per cent ethnic migrants is known as ‘superdiverse’. Now at 40 per cent, Auckland is more diverse than Sydney, London or Los Angeles. The only city in the OECD with a higher proportion is Toronto.

• Auckland is now home to 13 times more people than at the beginning of the 1990s.

• The man-drought exists—there’s currently 91 men to every 100 women in the 25-49 age bracket. The discrepancy is more pronounced for highly educated men.

• As the baby boomers grow older, the structure of New Zealand’s population is growing top-heavy. However, the implications vary radically among ethnic groups—Maori and Pacific Island communities will have much larger working-age populations to support their aged than will their European or Asian counterparts. More than half of Maori will be under 30 in 2026.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Labour/Greens Deal (And The NZDF)

If Labour and the Greens were hoping their Budget Responsibility Rules (BRR) agreement would foster an unlikely alliance then hey… mission accomplished! Because it isn’t every day that Sue Bradford, the CTU and Matthew Hooton speak with one voice, as happened yesterday.

Unfortunately though, it’s hard to see how the BRR agreement will work to the advantage of Labour and the Greens in the context of the 2017 election campaign. More>>

 

Little Heading For Court: Apology Over Donation/Hotel Contract Claims Not Accepted

Today I want to publicly apologise unreservedly to Mr Hagaman for any hurt, embarrassment or adverse reflection on his reputation which may have resulted from my various media statements. I have offered that apology to the Hagamans. More>>

ALSO:

Biscuit Tin Of Democracy: World Heritage Site Protection, Ombudsman and Equal Pay Bills Drawn

On Thursday, 23 March 2017 three places are available on the Order Paper for the first reading of a Member’s bill. The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn... More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Plan: NZ Needs More Science, More Trees, Fewer Beasts

A combination of technology breakthroughs, much more plantation forestry, and a big switch away from pastoral, particularly dairy farming, are identified as the key elements of any approach New Zealand takes to reducing its carbon emissions to a net zero level, according to a new report sponsored by the New Zealand chapter of GLOBE, a multi-party, global parliamentary grouping. More>>

ALSO:

"Backed To Win Seats": Labour Māori Seat MPs Won't Stand On List

The Labour Party is backing a request from its Māori seat MPs to stand as electorate MPs only, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

OutsKey: John Key's Valedictory Speech

I rise to address this House for the very last time. It has been a huge privilege to have served the people of Helensville as their member of Parliament, and, of course, the people of New Zealand as their Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Productivity Commission: New Models Of Tertiary Education Are Coming

The report is a broad-ranging inquiry into how well New Zealand’s tertiary education system is set up to respond to emerging trends in technology and the internationalisation of education, and changes in the structure of the population, and the skills needed in the economy and society... More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Water Everywhere

Monday's Post-Cabinet press conference focused on water, with the Prime Minister fielding questions about the possibility pricing water taken for export. Mr English said the government was directing their water allocation technical advisory group to include export water in considerations. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news