Write “Pākehā” as your ethnicity in the Census

As there is no option for “Pākehā” in the listed ethnicities in the current Census, go to “Other” and write in “Pākehā”.

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Why is this important?

When it comes to ethnicity, lots of us think of ourselves as Pākehā, rather than the current option for people like us in this month’s Census which is “NZ European”. Pākehā is a New Zealand word for a New Zealand ethnicity. The origins of the word Pākehā are not that clear but it has been used since the early 1800s by non-Maori New Zealanders to distinguish themselves from Maori New Zealanders.

According to the Stats NZ website, an ethnic group is made up of people who have some or all of the following:

  • a shared culture, such as traditions or ways of doing things, customs, beliefs or language
  • a common ancestry or history
  • a similar geographic, tribal or clan origin.

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