Until the 1970s, New Zealand’s immigration policies and practices favoured immigrants from Britain. Most New Zealanders were of British birth or descent. Māori and Pacific Islanders were the only significant minorities, although some non-British groups had arrived and kept their cultural identities alive. When immigration policies were changed from the 1970s to eliminate race or national origins as criteria for entry, large numbers of people arrived from many different ethnic backgrounds. In particular there was a big increase in the number of Asian people. The diversity of New Zealand’s population is now reflected in institutions such as Auckland’s Ōtara market, where New Zealanders of many ethnicities mingle.
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