The ethnic diversity of Aotearoa is increasing rapidly. We currently have a relatively high share of overseas born residents, and we have one of the highest rates of immigration arrivals in the OECD. StatsNZ project that by 2038, the share of the population comprised by ethnic minorities will increase. The Māori share of the population will grow from 15.6 per cent to 18.4 percent. Meanwhile, the Asian share will grow from 12.2. per cent to 22.0 per cent, and the Pacific share will grow from 7.8 per cent to 10.2 per cent. This will mean that in twenty years or so, Māori will no longer occupy the position of New Zealand's largest ethnic minority.
Māori have a fraught history with immigration, as 'demographic swamping' was used strategically to disempower Māori. Given these colonial experiences, and the projected demographic changes, what can be said about Māori attitudes towards immigration? How are these attitudes shaped? And how can we ensure a diverse and inclusive Aotearoa, where Indigenous rights are protected?
My research combines qualitative interviews with Māori from diverse communities, with advanced statistical analyses of a large, nationally representative data, to explore how Māori attitudes towards diversity are shaped, and to identify the psycho-social factors that predict diversity acceptance.
My research identifies diversity challenges and opportunities for Māori, and explores the Māori concept manaakitanga. Often translated as 'hospitality', manaakitanga is a Māori value that promotes care and respect for people and the environment, and that guides the process of establishing reciprocal, mutually beneficial relationships with others. In this way manaakitanga provides a useful framework for diversity and immigration decision making.