Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of New Zealand
About 60% of New Zealand's population is ethnically
European (these people are sometimes referred to as Pākehā), primarily
consisting of ethnicities from Scotland and other parts of the British Isles. The
Maori make up about 8% of the population; these people were the first settlers of
the islands and are ethnically Polynesian. Oddly, the ancestors of the Maori arrived
from eastern Polynesia and their closest relatives are from this region, including
French Polynesia and the Cook Islands.
There is a growing Asian population in New Zealand,
primarily people from the Far East, as Asians now make up almost 10% of the population.
The rest of the population tends to consist of numerous ethnic groups or are a combination
of the above mentioned people.
English and Maori are official languages in New Zealand,
but English tends to be the language of communication across groups and most of
the country's population are native English speakers. In addition to these languages
there are multiple other languages spoken in New Zealand, most of which are spoken
by first or second generation immigrants in the home. These languages vary drastically,
but some of the more common are Samoan, French, Hindi, and Mandarin.