Auckland diversity in the future

Statistics New Zealand is predicting that the percentage of Europeans living in Auckland in ten years’ time could be less than 50%. At the moment, about 60% of Aucklanders identify as European. About 23% of the Auckland population identify as Asian, 11% Maori and nearly 17% Pacific Islander. The percentages add up to more than 100% because of multi-ethnic marriages. Europeans are still in the majority, but only just . . .

However, the European population is older than the Asian, Maori and Pacific Island populations and therefore there are fewer European women having babies. The fertility rate for European and Asian women is below replacement at about 1.7 births for every woman of child-bearing age whereas Maori and Pacific Islanders have bigger families. Although Asian immigration has been increasing in recent years, it has now started to slow down. Also, the new Labour government may limit immigration. These factors make it very difficult to predict the size and diversity of Auckland’s population in the future.

What is clear, however, is that councils and boards need to be more ethnically diverse to represent the population. The Auckland City Council and local community boards are dominated by Europeans. New Zealand now has second generation Asian immigrants with very good English skills who have an interest in becoming a voice for their community. The problem is how to attract these people to become candidates for election and then how to encourage all sections of the community to vote for them.

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