Monday, August 06, 2007

Who is a "New Zealander" II

My short sharp summary of who responded as a "New Zealander" in last year's census has raised some hackles over at Kiwiblog among self-proclaimed "New Zealanders" in denial. But contrary to DPF's assertions, I did read the entire report, and I think my summary is entirely accurate. For "dead", we have only to look at the age distribution in figure 3 (reproduced below), which shows a markedly higher response among the culturally insecure older generations (and a markedly lower response among those who have grown up since the passage of the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975):

For "white", the report notes that "it seems likely that there has been a response shift to New Zealander from New Zeland European, decreasing the size of both the New Zealand European category and the European grouping in the 2006 census". It's also worth noting the strong correlation in response with whiter areas, particularly in the South Island.

Finally, for "male", 51.9% to 48.1% doesn't sound very impressive, but it is almost the exact opposite of the overall gender ratio in the population - something the report describes as "striking", and all the more so as the response is most strongly male where the population is most strongly female.

I think these facts speak for themselves. And so, apparently, do StatisticsNZ. According to my sources within the department, the result of their analysis is a recommendation that the "New Zealanders" be included with "NZ Europeans" in data analysis. The response may indicate a political opinion, but nothing more.