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‘Transformative Shift’ As 1 In 5 Kiwi Identify As Māori

The Māori descent population is growing at double the rate of the New Zealand population, with one in five Kiwi identifying as Māori, new Census data reveals today.

The first of the 2023 Census data – released today – shows Māori are also a significantly younger population when compared to the total New Zealand population, with the median age sitting at 27.2 years, more than 10 years younger than the median age of 38.1 years for the wider population.

The data shows 19.6 per cent - or 978,246 - of Aotearoa New Zealand’s population are of Māori descent, an increase of 12.5 per cent since 2018.

The entire New Zealand population increased 6.3 per cent over the same period.

Māori make up an even larger proportion of Aotearoa New Zealand’s younger population, with nearly one in three under 25-year-olds identifying as Māori.

Te Kāhui Raraunga Pou Arahi/Aho Tapu, Kirikowhai Mikaere says the newly released Māori descent data highlights a “transformative shift in the make-up of Aotearoa”.

“What the 2023 Census data shows us is that our Māori population is young, resilient, and rapidly growing.

“This would suggest that we will see Māori become a dominant part of the future workforce of Aotearoa, enhancing diversity, promoting new ideas, and stimulating creative solutions across industries.

“Increasingly, we will also see Māori influence market trends and cultural norms as we continue to make up a larger percentage of Aotearoa New Zealand’s total population.”

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Ms Mikaere says the data insights reinforce the importance of social investment that directly benefit Māori.

“To invest in Māori means to invest in education, employment, innovation and economic development. It is our youthful, adaptable population that will play a crucial role in Aotearoa New Zealand’s growth and advancement.

“All of Aotearoa will prosper if we ensure Māori have the resources and opportunities to reach our full potential and drive progress as a country.

“The release of today’s data will provide iwi and Māori with the information and overdue insights needed to lead conversations with Government, funders and strategic partners to help ensure investment is being made in the areas it’s needed most.

“Equally, it will enable iwi to make informed decisions about everything from future investment, the provision of te reo Māori classes as an example, through to building and infrastructure requirements on their whenua.”

In a significant milestone, today’s first 2023 Census data insights have been released on Te Whata – a by iwi, for iwi data platform developed by Te Kahui Raraunga, the operational arm of the Data Iwi Leaders Group. This is the first time Census data has been released on a non-Government platform.

2023 Census Iwi affiliation data will be released on 26 September and 31 October on Te Whata, where there will be more detailed data across Census variables – analysed and surfaced with, by and for Iwi.

Check out Te Whata to view the latest Māori descent data and insights.

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