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Geographical distribution

The geographical distribution of Pacific people in New Zealand reflects the settlement patterns of Pacific migrants. Most new migrants from the Pacific have been drawn to the larger centres, particularly Auckland, which is the main arrival destination and the major employment centre. Chain migration has also contributed to this concentration as new migrants tend to settle where they will have the support of family and community networks.

Consequently, 97 percent of the Pacific population is urbanised, with 92 percent in the 25 main urban areas and 66 percent in the Auckland urban areas alone (this is twice the proportion of the total New Zealand population who live in Auckland). All the Pacific groups are highly urbanised, though there are some differences in where they live. Tongans have the greatest concentration in Auckland (78 percent), closely followed by Niueans (77 percent), while Tokelauans have the lowest (26 percent). Half of the Tokelauan population lives in Wellington, and along with Cook Islands people they are also more likely than others to live in secondary urban areas. Fijians were the most likely to live in rural areas (4.7 percent).

Table 1.2

Table, Urban distribution of Pacific ethnic groups

Figure 1.11 shows the percentage of the population in area units of Auckland identifying with the Pacific ethnicity. The Pacific ethnic group makes up a high percentage of the population in area units of Manukau city. In particular, Pacific people make up a high proportion of the population in areas such as Otara (79.2 percent), Harania (76.5 percent), and Favona (66.4 percent). There are also some area units in Auckland and Waitakere cities where the Pacific population is relatively high.

Figure 1.11

Map, Percentage of Population in Pacific Ethnic Group

Figure 1.12 examines this information for each of the main Pacific ethnic groups. The Samoan group comprises a larger proportion of the population than other groups, since they are the largest Pacific population. There are 54 area units where at least 15 percent of the population are Samoan, mostly in Manukau city. Both the Cook Islands people and Tongan populations have a number of areas where they comprise at least 15 percent of the population, shown by the darker patches on the maps. The Tokelauan ethnic group makes up less than 2 percent of the population, at area unit level. This reflects the small population and the lower percentage living in Auckland.

Figure 1.12

Graph, Percentage of Population in Selected Pacific Ethnic Group


 

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