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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



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Distribution of Population

Yet another consideration is the distribution of population, and in this respect that of the Maori displays its own marked characteristics. To begin with, some 96 per cent of the Maori people live in the North Island, while only in Auckland (72 per cent of the Maori total), Hawke's Bay, and Wellington provincial districts do they form a significant element. Again, from the point of view of their distribution, the increase during recent decades has two noteworthy aspects. First of all, there is the very considerable increase, both proportionate and absolute, in the numbers living in urban areas (34·4 per cent of the Maori total). According to the 1961 census the Maori outnumbered the non-Maori in five counties, while in four more they constituted 40–50 per cent of the total. Further than this, however, is the fact that their greatest concentration was not necessarily in those counties in which they were dominant; in fact, by far the greatest number in one place was in the Auckland urban area (19,847).

Large-scale movement of the Maori into the bigger towns first became apparent during the 1936–45 intercensal period and has continued at a fast pace since. Nevertheless, in sum, the proportion of Maori to the total population (1961) remains small, except in a few boroughs and cities such as Opotiki (38 per cent), Rotorua (21 per cent), and Auckland (5·2 per cent).

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