The definition of ‘Asian’ used in New Zealand is based on the categories used in the census, developed by Statistics New Zealand in 1996 (SNZ) (4). This group is made up of people with origins in the Asian continent from Afghanistan in the west to Japan in the east and from China in the north to Indonesia in the south.
A full listing of the classification Asian can be found in: Ethnicity Data Protocols for the Health and Disability Sector
This definition of ‘Asian’ is unique to New Zealand and differs from many western countries such as the United Kingdom or Australia.
Middle Eastern, Latin American and African populations
The Middle Eastern, Latin American or African (MELAA) ethnicity grouping consists of extremely diverse groups with dissimilar cultures, religions and backgrounds. In 2006, 1% of the New Zealand population identified as MELAA and half lived in Auckland.
In 2006, 28,637 people in Auckland identify as being MELAA; approximately 14,000 are Middle Eastern, 3000 are Latin American and 11,000 are African. This group is one of the fastest growing population groups and has unique health needs.