National | Census

Māori data in 2023 Census worth $2.4 billion in investments

With the new census data showing the Māori population within Aotearoa has grown to 978,246 in 2023, Te Kāhui Raraunga, pou ārahi Kirikowhai Mikaere said the Census was estimated to be worth $2.4 billion to Māori.

“[This] means [the government] allocates and distribute a whole lot of investment using the Census data, and so lifting and giving voice to our population hopefully helps inform this new social investment direction understanding the importance of all of the community that there must be the right investment in education and employment.”

The $2.4 billion figure came from Stats NZ, she said.

She said she wanted to highlight the importance of the data and how it could bring empower Māori.

“I just wanted to highlight how important that is for decision-makers and policymakers both at a national level and local level.

“The whole point for the mahi we do is to actually empower our people so they are empowered with sound, robust data to be able to go into conversations whether that be in our own communities or with the government and to make sure our people are seen in the data.”

With Budget 2024 tomorrow, she is confident that Māori people can advocate with data to fight for what is needed.

Māori population over a million?

Although the data shared today showed the Māori population just beneath one million, Mikaere believes the Māori population has already passed the million milestone since the Census was held.

“So, keeping in mind this is the census “usually resident” population so based on March 7, 2023, when they then recalibrate the data with birth, deaths, then marriages to bring us forward, I think they call it the estimated resident population.

“We probably will see close to, if not, a million. And then also this is only the New Zealand population and so we know we’ve got many whānau around the world.

“I say we are over a million,” she said.

The data collected for the 2023 census on saw people in New Zealand on the night of March 7, 2023, participate, meaning there is no figure on how many Māori are living abroad.

Although the number of Māori living overseas is not known, the number in Aotearoa have grown strongly, with one third of the population under the age of 25b, who are Māori.