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What is ethnicity?

Ethnicity refers to the group/s a person identifies with, primarily based on their shared: 

  • culture (e.g. language, customs or religion) and/or 
  • geographic origin or ancestry (e.g. Pacific Islands).  
Ethnicity in Aotearoa

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New Zealand is a multicultural country, based on a bi-cultural foundation (Te Tiriti o Waitangi between Māori and the British Crown).

Today, Stats NZ recognises six major ethnic groupings in New Zealand: Māori, Pacific peoples (Pasifika), Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and African (MELAA), European, and a diverse range of ‘other’ ethnicities. These groups include hundreds of sub-groups and reflect significant diversity.

New Zealand’s migrant population is increasing, with 27.4% of the population being born overseas and over 160 languages spoken across Aotearoa. Te reo Māori, Samoan, Northern Chinese (including Mandarin) and Hindi are the most commonly spoken languages after English.

Read an example of the relationship between ethnicity and participation in physical activity.

Hear from young people

Fatima and Joud share their experiences of Faith, Futsal and Fasting as Muslim young people. 

Key contacts 

Contact these organisations for connections and training. 

Organisational inclusivity

Improve your organisational policies, procedures and strategy. 

Practice inclusivity 

Improve your practices when working with diverse groups of participants. 

Community stories

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Diversity, equity, and inclusion is a complex space and we are determined to continually evolve the Hub so the content remains up-to-date, relevant and useful. If you would like to submit an addition to the Hub for consideration, please let us know

If you require an accessible version of any content on the site please contact us at info@sportnz.org.nz and we will be happy to assist.

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