Society of New Zealand



Population per sq km: 17

Life expectancy: 81 years

Net primary enrolment: 98%

Population: 4,595,000 (2015); 86 per cent of people live in urban areas and 32 per cent in urban agglomerations of more than a million people; growth 1.9 per cent p.a. 1990–2015; birth rate 13 per 1,000 people (22 in 1970); life expectancy 81 years (71 in 1970).

The 2006 census recorded 2,609,592 people of European origin (65 per cent); 565,329 people of Polynesian (Maori) descent (14 per cent); 265,974 Pacific Island Polynesians (6.6 per cent), mostly from Samoa (131,103), Cook Islands (56,895) and Tonga (50,478); some 139,728 Chinese (3.5 per cent); and 97,443 Indians (2.4 per cent). About 75 per cent of people live in North Island, of which the average population density is 24 per sq km (South Island: six per sq km).

Language: English and Maori are the official languages and many information documents are also translated into Polynesian.

Religion: Some 60 per cent of people adhere to a religion: Christians 44 per cent (Roman Catholics 12 per cent, Anglicans 11 per cent, Presbyterians/Congregational/Reformed eight per cent, Methodists two per cent); Hindus two per cent; and Buddhists 1.4 per cent (2013 census).

Media: Largest dailies include The New Zealand Herald (Auckland, the main national newspaper), The Dominion Post (Wellington) and The Press (Christchurch). Many other daily papers – mostly evening editions – are published locally and regionally. The principal Sunday papers are Sunday Star-Times and Sunday News.

Broadcasting was deregulated in 1988. Television New Zealand operates two public channels and further digital channels, and Maori Television promotes Maori language and culture. TV3, Prime TV and Sky TV are private channels.

Radio New Zealand provides three public stations and an external service, RNZI. Ruia Mai is a Maori-owned radio station broadcasting in Maori and Niu FM provides a public service for the Pacific Islander communities. There are several private radio stations.

Some 97 per cent of households have TV sets (2009).

Public holidays: New Year (two days), Waitangi Day (anniversary of the 1840 treaty, 6 February), ANZAC Day (25 April), Queen’s Official Birthday (first Monday in June), Labour Day (fourth Monday in October), Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The anniversaries of the former provinces of New Zealand are observed locally as holidays.

Religious and other festivals whose dates vary from year to year include Good Friday and Easter Monday.