Profiling indigenous communities

Profiling indigenous communities

The 2013 census population for Māori in New Zealand was 668,715. How can we better understand this indigenous community? What are the demographic characteristics of this population and how has it changed over time?

The principal advisor on Government-Māori relationships and Māori Public Policy Te Puni Kōkiri has joined forces with .id to develop an iwi and rohe profile ‘Te Whakahura a Kupe’. The name Te Whakahura a Kupe refers to the spirit of discovery, as personified by the celebrated explorer Kupe.

An iwi refers to a Māori tribe and out of the national population, we were able to identify 98 of them large enough to profile.

There is also a region-based profile of the Māori population with the six rohe (also known as regional administrative areas) of Te Puni Kōkiri.

Te Whakahura a Kupe can be used to build a powerful story about the Māori population in New Zealand and the characteristics of each iwi and rohe.

Even at the national level, there are some incredible differences immediately apparent in the profile. While much is made of New Zealand ageing population, in comparison our Māori population is very young with 57.1% under 30 years of age compared to 40.3% in the total New Zealand population.


The household profile for Māori is also very different, with a much lower proportion of lone person households, this linked to the large proportion of young Māori.



Also reflecting a relatively young Māori population, families are dominated by couples with children and one parent families. And where the family type category in the New Zealand population are dominated by couples without children (40.9%), only 15.1% of Māori families are couples without children. However, both lone person households (in household type) and couples without children (in family type) categories registered the largest absolute growth between 2006 and 2013 for our Māori population.


The Te Whakahura a Kupe profile is different from other .id community profiles as the site has an additional mapping function that presents the population densities of any of the 98 iwi across New Zealand right down to census area unit. The following map shows the densities of Ngati Porou largely in the Ikaroa-Rawhiti rohe.


Te Whakahura a Kupe provides an analysis of the Māori descent population of New Zealand, based on results from the 2013 and 2006 Censuses of Population and Dwellings. It is free to access and use – you can access Te Whakahura a Kupe from the home page of the Te Puni Kōkiri website.

Or simply visit the Te Whakahura a Kupe profile.

Penny - Population expert

Based in New Zealand, Penny primarily looks after our Kiwi clients but also lends her expertise to the Australian context. Penny has extensive experience as a Communication Manager in Local Government and has a degree in Business and Communications. She also brings a breadth of generalist management experience in fields as varied as research, civil defence, project and event management, marketing and training. Penny’s knowledge combined with the .id tools help clients work with their communities to empower grass roots decision-making, advocacy and grant applications, and focus on strengthening council-community relationships. Penny has a rural property and enjoys growing and eating food and wine, which she runs, walks, bikes or swims off, when she’s not in the art studio.

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