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Māori mobility in New Zealand
Overview of Māori migration

How many Māori moved?

More than 60 percent of people of Māori ethnicity have moved at least once within New Zealand between 2001 and 2006.

In 2006, there were 565,300 people who identified Māori as one of their ethnicities. Of these, 541,100 people told us where they had lived five years earlier, at the time of the 2001 Census.

Table 1

People of Māori ethnicity
By address five years ago
2006 Census
Number of people of Māori ethnicity
Address five years ago Male Female Total
Same as usual residence 86,316 90,819 177,135
Elsewhere in New Zealand or no fixed abode 135,453 150,765 286,218
Not born five years ago 34,071 32,352 66,423
Overseas 5,706 5,610 11,316
Not stated 13,314 10,920 24,234
Total 274,860 290,469 565,329

 

Among the people aged five years and over who gave us this information, 60 percent had moved at least once in NZ within the previous five years, 37 percent had not moved and 2 percent had arrived or returned from overseas.

Māori increasingly mobile

In the 20 years from 1986 to 2006, Māori have become increasingly mobile. Less than half (47 percent) had moved within New Zealand between 1981 and 1986 compared with over 60 percent in 2006. A number of factors contribute to this. Among these are the fact that the population as a whole has become much more mobile, improved economic conditions and employment opportunities have enabled more mobility, and increasing inter-ethnic, inter-regional and inter-iwi partnering.

Table 2

People of Māori ethnicity
By address five years ago, percentage distribution
1986–2006 Censuses
Census year
Address five years ago 1986 1991 1996 2001 2006
Percent of Māori population
Same as usual residence 51.7 45.8 44.5 40.2 37.3
Elsewhere in New Zealand 46.6 52.5 53.3 57.9 60.3
Overseas 1.7 1.7 2.2 1.9 2.4
Total 100 100 100 100 100
Percent of Maori internal migrants
Stayers 52.6 46.6 45.5 38.7 38.2
Movers within New Zealand 47.4 53.4 54.5 61.3 61.8
Total internal migrants 100 100 100 100 100
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