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

Two Dead, One Injured: Suspect Charged After Ashburton Shooting

Russell John Tully has appeared in Christchurch District Court. Tully has been remanded in custody on charges of murder of Peg Noble and Leigh Cleveland and attempted murder of Lindy Curtis.

The victim’s families and the victim have requested that their privacy be respected and will not be making a statement at this time.

Police have formed a picture of what has occurred yesterday and are appealing for further information and sightings .... More

 

Parliament Today:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

ALSO:

Internet MANA: Georgina Beyer Rocks The Waka

“There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority of MANA members and supporters around the country” states MANA Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Update: Inquiry Into Release Of NZSIS Information

The Inquiry would be conducted in private and individuals would appear before her separately over a period of more than a week. She does not intend to name those summoned to give evidence until her report is published. “I can confirm that all persons summoned will be required to appear under oath...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Council Lawyers' Statement: Supreme Court Decision On Maori Water Rights

“…the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead… the Supreme Court has questioned whether the Crown owns the River at all.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

ALSO:

More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news