Asians and the New Multiculturalism in Aotearoa-New Zealand
Edited by Gautam Ghosh and Jacqueline Leckie
(Otago University Press, $40)
Reviewed by Vaughan Rapatahana
This is an important and timely book, because the Asian segment of the New Zealand population is increasing exponentially faster than any other ethnic grouping, given – of course – that the term Asian is rather general and sweeping and includes Chinese, Indian, Korean, Filipino, Cambodian et al.
Now, I am duty bound to point out that the edited set of chapters that make up Asians and the New Multiculutralism in Aotearoa New Zealand is the result of a 2011 symposium held in early February at Otago University. Because of this, the figures quoted throughout are largely taken from the 2006 nationwide census, which lends a somewhat dated feel to many of the chapters.
For, whilst the 2006 census results show a very rapid increase in the number of Asians in NZ, whether as new arrivals or as born here, the 2013 census results – touched on really only in the Afterword – ram home just how massive this expansion has become. Because in 2013 Asians identified as 11.8%, double the sum of the 2001 census, and out of this 11.8%, 31.6% were overseas born (See Figure One below). On this basis, it is predicted that by 2026, people identifying themselves as Asian will be the second largest ethnic grouping within NZ behind the sluggishly growing Caucasian majority, and surpassing the tāngata whenua, Māori (See Figure Two below).