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Asia and Aotearoa

New Zealand’s economy is intertwined with Asian economies. We buy products and services from countries in Asia, and those countries buy from us. Companies from Asia invest in New Zealand, and people from Asian countries travel to and study in New Zealand.

By 2021, almost 15 per cent of New Zealanders will identify with an Asian ethnic group. Children growing up today are likely to live, study, and work alongside people of Asian ethnicities.

Asian cultures are increasingly part of New Zealand life. The obvious and stereotypical examples are in the food we eat and the festivals we celebrate. But Asian influences are also felt in film, music, television, books, art, architecture, and children’s toys and games.

As countries in Asia have opened up in the past 20–30 years, travel to the region has become more common. The government now offers scholarships for study and research at overseas universities, with a particular focus on countries in Asia and Latin America.

Silhouette of Auckland city against an orange sky

The changing face of Aotearoa

The ethnic make-up of New Zealand is becoming more diverse. We have moved from what was originally a bicultural nation to one that is multicultural. The challenge now for kura and schools is to embrace this diversity and take advantage of the opportunities it offers.

Quick facts about the changing face of Aotearoa

  • By 2021, Asian children will make up 17% of all New Zealand children.
  • One in five people in Auckland now identify with one or more Asian ethnic groups.
  • Almost one in five children has more than one ethnicity.
  • Our population is becoming more multilingual.
  • There are more than 32 Asian communities living in New Zealand.

"Ko tō ao, ko tōku ao"

"Your world is my world"

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