Stats NZ has a new website.

For new releases go to

www.stats.govt.nz

As we transition to our new site, you'll still find some Stats NZ information here on this archive site.

  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
Ethnic/cultural communities

Auckland libraries service the world

New Zealand is a melting pot of ethnicities and cultures. Recent census figures confirm what the Auckland City Council already knew – that its region is becoming increasingly diverse. In Auckland City, 40 percent of people were born overseas, compared with 23 percent for New Zealand as a whole.

Local libraries have the ongoing challenge of providing services to a diverse population, with many residents who speak languages other than English. For example, 67 percent of people in Auckland City speak only one language, compared with 81 percent for all of New Zealand. Samoan is Auckland City’s second most widely spoken language behind English; nationally, Māori is New Zealand’s second most widely spoken language.

Armed with information about ethnicity, languages spoken and age group information, local libraries are better prepared to help meet the needs of the changing community. Onehunga library, for instance, has broadened its Chinese and Māori collections to better suit the local community. The library also hosts Job Search Support, where the Migrant Action Trust assists migrants seeking employment to use the free Internet access and resources provided by the library. On top of this, the self-check units customers use to take out books are now programmed with English, Māori, and two other languages spoken locally. Auckland City's libraries aim to enable people from all ethnic backgrounds, including those with English as a second language, to enjoy a well-resourced and responsive library service.

top

Christchurch libraries become multicultural

Although Christchurch has a fairly homogenous population in terms of ethnicity, it is becoming increasingly diverse. Between 1991 and 2006, Pacific peoples, Asian, and Middle Eastern, Latin American and African ethnic groupings have all increased as a proportion of Christchurch City's total population. The largest increase was in the Asian ethnic group, up from 2.1 percent in 1991, to 7.9 percent in 2006. Local community groups and non-government agencies are aware of these changes and want to tailor their services, such as libraries, to these changing communities.

The Christchurch City Council used 2006 Census information to create a specialised report for its city. Published in August 2007, the report covers information relating to demographics, migration, housing, age structure, occupation, and access to services such as telecommunications. It helped library staff across Christchurch to be more aware of the size and location of different ethnic and age groups. It highlighted a need for more reading resources for a number of languages. For example, since 2001 native speakers of Afrikaans have increased by 62 percent to reach 993.

Library staff have now expanded their world languages collections, which are now better able to meet the language needs of their local communities.

top

Helping refugees settle into Kiwi life

As part of New Zealand’s efforts to provide aid to people around the world, 750 refugees settle here each year with the help of Refugee Services Aotearoa New Zealand. The agency helps new arrivals settle into their new homes, particularly in their first six months.

The Christchurch Refugee Services unit used 2006 Census information to determine where different ethnic groups settle in the city, with the aim of housing new refugees nearby. For instance, of Christchurch City's Afghani population of 462, nearly one-fifth live in just two areas, Jellie Park and Barrington North. Having these local support networks and contacts is especially important for those who do not speak English.

Another reason refugees are placed together is because high schools with refugee students receive funding for specific resources, such as bilingual teaching aids. The more refugee students, the greater the funding for these resources. Refugee students can then learn English faster, increasing their future employment opportunities.

Refugee Services also helps refugees fill out their census form which comes around every five years. The agency recognises that refugees are more likely to receive services dedicated to them when they are represented in statistics.

As a result of the assistance Refugee Services provides, refugees have a better settlement experience, increased involvement in the local community and better integration into Kiwi life.

top

Recreational facilities for Christchurch's diverse communities

Providing recreational facilities for its local communities is an important aim of the Christchurch City Council. The council recognises that communal open spaces encourage a sense of community pride and unity. The council needs to keep up with the changing needs of its communities.

Using census information about age structure, ethnic groups and access to private motor vehicles, the council was able to create a profile of each community. It then spoke to residents to get their input into the park and recreational facilities they would like near their homes.

The Avonhead-Riccarton South area (Avonhead, Upper Riccarton, Riccarton West, Riccarton, and Riccarton South) has a high proportion of Asian ethnic group residents, around a quarter of the local community compared with a national average of only 9 percent. The council approached the Asian community for feedback, and found that they like to play team sports on an informal basis. The council then ensured local parks had basketball courts and permanent goal posts on fields, so residents could just turn up and play.

Responding to community needs has fostered more participation by locals in council events and improved the care of shared facilities. Encouraging locals to get outside and have fun has the added benefits of improved physical and mental health.

  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
Top
  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+