Pacific People in NZ

New Zealand’s Pacific peoples are a diverse and dynamic group with the fastest growing young population.  A little under half (46.1%) are less than 20 years old, compared with 27.4% for the total population.  By 2026 it is projected that Pacific Peoples will be 10% of the population, compare to 7.4% in 2013.


The Pacific Peoples ethnic group was the fourth largest major ethnic group in 2013, behind European, Maori and Asian ethnic groups.

Since 2006 this group has grown in both number and proportion of the population.

In 2013, 7.4% of New Zealand’s population (295,941) identified with one or more Pacific ethnic groups.

Pacific Peoples remained the major ethnic group with the highest proportion of children (0-14 years), at 35.7%.  In comparison, children made up the following proportions of other major ethnic groups. European 19.6%.  Maori 33.8%.  Asian 20.6% and Middle Eastern/Latin Aerican/African 25.5%

Pacific people remain a youthful population with a little under half (46.1%) were less than 20 years old (compared with 27.4% for the total population) and the majority (54.9%) were younger than 25 years old.


Samoa remains largest Pacific Peoples ethnic group in 2013 with 48.7% of the Pacific people’s population (144,138).  Cook Islands Maori 20.9% (61,839 people).  Tongan 20.4% (60,333 people).  Niuean 8.1% (23,883 people)

Almost two thirds of Pacific Peoples 62.3% (181,791 people) who identified with at least one Pacific ethnicity were born in New Zealand.  The highest proportion of New Zealand born people included Niuean 78.9%.  Cook Islands Maori 77.4%.  Tokelauan 73.9%.  Samoan 62.7%.  Tongan 59.8%.

Most Pacific Peoples (92.9% or 274,806 people) lived in the North Island in 2013.  Almost two thirds (65.9% or 194,958 people) identified with at least one Pacific ethnicity lived in the Auckland region and 12.2% or 36,105 people, in the Wellington region.

In contrast only 7.1% of Pacific Peoples (21,135 people) lived in the South Island in 2013.  (Statistics NZ Census 2013)