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Māori Population Estimates: At 30 June 2014 – tables
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  13 November 2014
Data quality

This section has information about data that does not change between releases.

Definition of Māori ethnic population

Ethnicity is the ethnic group or groups a person identifies with or has a sense of belonging to. Māori ethnic population is the population who identify themselves with Māori ethnicity. It is a measure of cultural affiliation (in contrast to race, ancestry, nationality, or citizenship).

Changes and revisions

We revised the annual Māori population estimates between 30 June 2006 and 30 June 2013 following the results from the 2013 Census and derivation of the 2013-base estimated resident population of the Māori ethnic group. The revised estimates for 2006–13 supersede previously published estimates. These estimates are contained in the downloadable Excel files.

Method of estimation

The estimated resident population of the Māori ethnic group is based on the census usually resident population count of the Māori ethnic group. We adjust the count for Māori residents missed or counted more than once by the census (net census undercount), for Māori residents temporarily overseas on census night, and for non-response to the census ethnicity question.

We obtained Māori population estimates from 30 June 2013 onwards by updating the base population of the Māori ethnic group (at 30 June 2013) for births, deaths, estimated net migration, and estimated interethnic mobility during the ensuing period.

Māori population estimates from 30 June 2013 assume net migration flows as a proportion of 20 percent of the net permanent and long-term migration of New Zealand citizens to Australia, with adjustments for interethnic mobility and Māori migrating to/from countries other than Australia. The assumed net migration flows are based on data obtained from censuses in other countries including Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Population estimates for the Māori ethnic group from 30 June 2001 to 30 June 2006 were revised using results from the 2001 and 2006 Censuses. Over this period, we assumed there was an annual population loss of 3,150 due to the combined effect of migration and interethnic mobility.

We produced estimates from 30 June 1991 to 30 June 2001 by updating the 2001 base for natural increase (births minus deaths) and assuming annual population loss of 800 over the period of 1991–2001, due to the combined effect of migration (no external migration information available for the Māori ethnic group) and interethnic mobility (change of ethnic identity). The net annual outflows assumed over the period 1991–2001 followed the pattern of arrival of Māori in Australia, as measured by Australia's 2001 Census.

We have not reconciled the population estimates of the Māori ethnic group for 1996 with the Māori population counted by the 1996 Census because of different ethnic questions asked in the 1996 and 2001 Censuses. The estimates of the Māori population at 30 June 1996 therefore differ from the estimates provided in the population base tables, which are based on results from the 1996 Census.

From 1 September 1995, new ethnicity questions were introduced to the birth and death registration forms. Māori ethnic group births and deaths for the December quarter 1995 onwards are based on births and deaths data compiled using the new questions.

Limitations of data

The accuracy of the estimates depends on the accuracy of the estimated base and estimated change in numbers. The accuracy of the base depends on the accuracy of the census and the estimated adjustments made to the base.

The estimated change in numbers is based on the births and deaths registrations figures, and the external migration figures. We estimated external migration using census data from Australia and other countries, as no external migration nor interethnic mobility data is available.

Limitations are inherent in the data used to derive Māori population estimates for 1991–2014. All estimates for the Māori ethnic group are supplied only as a guide for research and other analytical purposes.

More information

If the data you need is not available in published tables, consider requesting some customised data.

Statistics in this release have been produced in accordance with the Official Statistics System principles and protocols for producers of Tier 1 statistics for quality. They conform to the Statistics NZ Methodological Standard for Reporting of Data Quality.


While all care and diligence has been used in processing, analysing, and extracting data and information in this publication, Statistics NZ gives no warranty it is error-free and will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by the use directly, or indirectly, of the information in this publication.


Our information releases are delivered electronically by third parties. Delivery may be delayed by circumstances outside our control. Statistics NZ accepts no responsibility for any such delay.

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