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The concept of 'iwi' has changed over time. Today it is an economical and political unit of the traditional Māori descent and kinship hierarchy of:

  • waka (founding canoe)
  • iwi (tribe)
  • hapū (sub-tribe)
  • whānau (family)

Relationship to questionnaire(s)

Data on iwi comes from question 15 on the individual form (PDF 395kb).

Subject population

The subject population is the people, families, households or dwellings to whom the variable applies.

The subject population for this variable is the census usually resident population who are of Māori descent.

Non-response rate

The 2006 non-response rate was 4.3 percent.

In 2001 the non-response rate was 5.4 percent.

Quality Management Strategy priority level

Iwi is a defining variable.

The Census Quality Management Strategy assigns a priority level to all census variables.

Defining variables cover key subject populations that are important for policy development, evaluation or monitoring. These variables are given secondary priority in terms of quality, time and resources across all phases of the 2006 Census.

All data must meet minimum quality standards in order to make it suitable for use.

Comparability with 1996 and 2001 Census data

There are issues affecting the comparability of this data with 1996 and 2001 Census data:

  • Respondents who did not answer 'yes' to the Māori descent question but gave a valid iwi response are not included in the iwi counts
  • In 1996, iwi information was only collected when the respondent had given a positive response to the Māori descent question. The Māori descent question design is intended to route people with no Māori descent to the question following after iwi, so that they do not answer the iwi question. However, in 2006, approximately 20,000 people gave a valid iwi but did not respond to the Māori descent question, compared with almost 17,000 people in 2001. There were also just under 2,000 respondents who ticked 'no' for the Māori descent question but who gave a valid iwi response. This compares with just over 1,000 in 2001. Although all iwi responses have been collected since 2001, the subject population is defined as those who said 'yes' to the Māori descent question. The iwi responses of those who did not answer the Māori descent question, or said 'no' or 'don't know', are therefore not included in the output data.
  • The classifications used in 1996 and 2001 were different to that used in 2006. In 2006, the following changes were made to the iwi categories that were used in the classification:

    Name changes:

    • 0209 Ngāi Tai (Hauraki) previously Ngāti Tai
    • 0412 Ngāti Tahu-Ngāti Whaoa (Te Arawa) previously Ngāti Tahu (Te Arawa)
    • 0506 Ngāi Tai (Tauranga Moana/Mātaatua) previously Ngāi Tai
    • 1113 Ngāti Apa ki Te Rā Tō previously Ngāti Apa ki te Waipounamu
    • There were also a number of minor name changes (primarily with macron placement, hyphenation and capitalisation) to other iwi categories

    New categories:

    • 0710 Ngāti Pāhauwera previously coded to Ngāti Kahungungu ki Te Wairoa
    • 0711 Ngāti Rākaipaaka previously coded to Ngāti Kahungungu ki Te Wairoa
    • 1007 Ngāti Tama ki Te Upoko o Te Ika (Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington) previously coded to Ngāti Tama (region unspecified). Note: this information was amended on 23 March 2007.

Significant issues

There are no significant issues that users should be aware of.

Other things to be aware of

  • A significant proportion (15.9 percent) of people of Māori descent reported that they did not know the name(s) of their iwi. In 2001, 18.5 percent of people of Māori descent reported that they did not know the name(s) of their iwi. However, this does not reflect on the quality of the data as 'don't know' is a valid response.
  • All census data was subject to considerable checks (including edits) during processing and evaluation, to ensure that it meets quality standards and is suitable for use. These checks were applied to data supplied both on paper and on Internet forms. In addition to these quality checks, the Internet form had built-in editing functionality that directed respondents to the appropriate questions and ensured that their responses were valid. As a result of this, data from Internet forms may be of higher overall quality than data from paper forms. The significance of this will depend on the particular type of analysis being done.
  • There were differences between how the forms were completed on the Internet and on paper for this variable:
    • If respondents marked 'no' or 'don't know' to the Māori descent question on the Internet, the iwi question was greyed out so the respondent could not answer it unless they changed their answer to the Māori descent question.
    • The Internet form allowed only one response to be selected for the yes/no tick boxes for the 'do you know the name(s) of your iwi' question. If a further response was selected, the response given previously disappeared. Multiple responses to this question were possible when forms were completed on paper.
    • On the Internet, it was only possible to give text responses if 'yes' was marked. If the respondent selected 'yes', a text box appeared and the respondent could enter up to five iwi and five rohe (iwi areas). When forms were completed on paper, it was possible to give a text response without having marked the 'yes' tick box.
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