New Zealand’s Pacific people are a dynamic and diverse group.
By 2026, it is projected that Pacific people will be 10% of the population, compared to 6.5 % in 2001. The Pacific population in New Zealand will produce an increasing portion of the nation’s births, its student body, workforce, taxpayer base, voters and consumers of both public and private goods and services.
Pacific people in New Zealand are represented by at least 13 distinct languages and cultural groups. The Pacific population includes people born in the Pacific Islands and in New Zealand.
The many Pacific ethnicities are represented primarily by Samoan, Cook Islands, Tongan, Niuean, Fijian and Tokelauan groups, with smaller numbers from Tuvalu, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and the small island states of Micronesia.
The Pacific community in New Zealand, numbering 265,974 at Census 2006, has diverse origins. Migration to New Zealand has been significant since the 1950s. Today more than 60% of New Zealanders who define themselves as part of the Pacific community were born in New Zealand and are growing up here.
This New Zealand-based Pacific population consists of a number of diverse ethnic communities.
Pacific people here have high rates of inter-marriage with other New Zealanders – including Pakeha and Maori. Pacific communities are not static – they are changing and redefining themselves.
Pacific people live largely in urban centres in the North Island.
The largest Pacific population in the world resides in Auckland. Click here to view a profile of Pacific people in the Northern Region
The importance of successful Pacific people to the ongoing economic and social development of the Auckland region underpins our focus on work in the Northern Region. For more details see our 'Auckland Pacific Strategy' (PDF)
Click here to view a profile of Pacific people in the Central Region.
Click here to view a profile of Pacific people in the Southern Region.
Of particular importance is the youthfulness of the Pacific population, with 38% (100,344 people) aged under 15 years. Their median age is 21.1 years compared to 35.9 years for the New Zealand population overall. In 15–20 years one in five New Zealand children will be Pacific. In the younger (15–39) workforce Pacific people will be one in eight.
Contact Pacific nations' embassies and diplomats in New Zealand.