Volume 70 1961 > Volume 70, No. 1 > Maoris in Auckland, by Ian Pool, p 43-66
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A Population Study

In this article Mr. Pool, who is a Lecturer in Geography at the Victoria University of Wellington, compares the Maori population of Auckland with the wider Maori population of New Zealand and with other population groups in Auckland. He discusses also the movement of Maoris from the inner to the outer suburbs of Auckland, and their replacement in the inner suburbs by further Maori immigrants and by Polynesian islanders.

Part I: The Total Maori Population of Auckland


NEW ZEALAND'S MAORI population has been described by Borrie as an “emergent” population with characteristics which are quite distinct from those of non-Maoris. 1 But there are variations within New Zealand and of these differences perhaps the rural-urban difference is the most significant.

It is imperative for a detailed study of an urban area to be undertaken in view of the increasing movement of Maoris to urban areas and the possibility either that new “emergent” characteristics will evolve in an urban environment or that the Maori urban population will become “mature”. The Auckland Urban Area 2 has been chosen for such a study for it has the dual character of being the census unit in New Zealand containing the largest number of Maoris, and also of being the greatest “receiving depot” for Maori migrants. 3 It is hoped to answer - 44 a number of questions by first looking at the overall characteristics of Maori population in Auckland and by comparing these with those of the predominant Europeans, and, where possible, with those of Pacific Island Polynesians; and then by studying the characteristics of the various populations for sub-areas within the urban area.

Four questions most readily spring to mind. Firstly, how does Auckland's Maori population differ from the Maori rural population, and thus, because roughly three-quarters of Maoris are rural dwellers, how does it differ from the bulk of the Maori population? Secondly, as it is known that large-scale Maori migration has been in progress since the War, have there been any recent changes in the character of Auckland's Maori population? That is, is it becoming more “mature” and losing its migrant characteristics, or is it becoming more like the Maori rural population? Thirdly, is the Maori population following the movement to the suburbs so evident for the European population, and, if so, is there any difference between the characteristics of the Maori population in inner areas and outer areas of the city? Finally, and this question cannot be adequately answered, to what extent is Auckland's Maori population “urbanized” by comparison with Europeans and other Polynesian Aucklanders?

As Auckland is New Zealand's largest urban area it is not surprising that non-Europeans are numerically strongest in Auckland when Auckland is compared with other urban areas. However, with the exception of Maoris, a far larger proportion of the national population of each ethnic minority, is located in Auckland than is the case for Europeans (Table 1). The Maori population, unlike all other minority groups, is predominantly rural and has a lower proportion of urban dwellers 4 than does the European. But a larger proportion of Maori urban dwellers reside in Auckland than elsewhere. 5

The sheer importance of Auckland as a residential area for all groups, including Maoris, perhaps invalidates any generalisations made about nation-wide Maori urbanization, yet the Auckland Maori population is not particularly different from the New Zealand Maori urban population. The most outstanding differences lie in a few age groups. The male 15-19 age group is greater in Auckland than for the total Maori urban population; 6 whereas the corresponding age group for females shows a deficit when compared with the total Maori urban - 45 population (Figure 1). 7 This trend is still apparent, but not in such a marked fashion, in the 20-24 age group. The marked deficits above 44 years are not very significant (in a statistical sense) and may be due to chance variation caused by the small numbers involved.

Group Number in Auckland Urban Area Total for N.Z % of the total residing in Auckland
Europeans (a) 361,454 2,016,287 17.93
Maoris 11,361 137,151 8.29
Cook Islanders(b) 1,088 2,320 46.90
Niueans (b) 615 848 72.52
Samoans(b) 2,288 3,740 61.18
Tongans 583 917 63.58
Total(c) 381,063 2,174,062 17.52
  • NOTES:
  • (a) Where data are for Europeans plus all non-Maori ethnic groups, termed here non-Maori. Where data specifically for Europeans, termed Europeans.
  • (b) A surprisingly high proportion of all Niueans live in Auckland; when the New Zealand and the island populations are combined 11.19 per cent of the total Niueans live in Auckland, as do 5.82 per cent of the total Cook Islanders and 2.39 of Samoans. See New Zealand Census, and Department of Island Territories, 1957: 10 and 72; New Zealand Government Western Samoa Report, 1957: 118.
  • (c) Includes other groups, e.g. Indians, Chinese, Lebanese, etc.

The differences noted above and the difference in the sex ratio (Table 4) suggest that migration to Auckland occurs, to a considerable degree, out of economic necessity; and, that young males are continually seeking employment there. Whereas in the other urban areas the most significant migrant groups are young females who are attracted to

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Divergence graph comparing (a) the Maori Auckland Urban Area Population with (b) the Total Maori Urban Area Population (i.e. Auckland plus all other urban areas).
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the city, perhaps not entirely through necessity. 8 The fertility ratios are very similar to those of other urban areas as are the proportions in most other numerically important age groups. Thus Auckland is fairly representative of other urban areas, although in some senses it is more an indicator of future trends in the other areas, in particular perhaps Wellington-Hutt, for no other urban area has equivalent numbers of Maoris.


At the time of early European settlement there were Maoris in Auckland 9 but these tangata whenua (literally “people of the area”, taken here to mean the people in occupation at the time of European settlement) were soon outnumbered by Europeans, and Maoris became an uncommon sight in the city. This was true until World War II. Metge notes that “Auckland stood out in 1926 as the area (in the Auckland Province) in which the Maori and his works were of least importance.” 10 But by 1951 “They constituted a small but not entirely insignificant part of the complex of phenomena which gives the metropolis individuality.” 11 However, the majority of the Maoris residing in Auckland in 1953-54 were not the tangata whenua, or even the city-born children of immigrants, but were themselves immigrants. In a more recent work, Metge notes that “In the three ‘sets’ of urban residents whom I knew first-hand . . . 35 per cent were city-born, the percentage being highest in the suburbs where residence was more permanent and households and family groupings more stable.” 12 In her “sets” there was “only one family in which both parents were city-born.” 13 Furthermore, “most of the city-born were, in 1953-54, still under 15 years of age.” 14

The movement of Maoris into Auckland in the past-war period, as stated by Metge, is fully supported by census data (Table 2). While an increase in city-born is suggested by a slight increase in certain younger age-groups (Figure 2) and an increase in the fertility ratio (Table 3) when the age-structure in 1951 is compared with the age-structure in 1956, this is offset by increases in the migrating age-groups. In spite of the larger numerical base in 1951 (compared with 1945) the “push from behind—the increasing scarcity of Maori land—

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and a pull from in front—the attractions of city life . . .” 15 coupled with the high rural birth rates have caused an even larger influx of Maoris into Auckland in the period 1951-56 than occurred in the period 1945-51. And this has coincided with an increased urban fertility ratio and a higher urban birth rate.

The Maori percentage increase for both periods is high but it is dwarfed by the increases of the other Polynesians whose large-scale immigration has been as recent but whose proportionate increase has been from a lower base. 16 By contrast European increases seem low and were greater in the first of the two intercensal periods. Of course, the larger base of the European population gives rise to lower proportionate increases though numerically both periods saw tremendous increases both by natural increase and rural-urban migration.

Figure 2 shows the age and sex of aMoris and non-Maoris in 1951 and 1956. The most important feature is that in both years the Maori age and sex structure was dominantly that of a migrant population when compared with that of the non-Maoris.

In the period changes in the non-Maori age structure reflected certain economic and social cycles. Thus the immediate post-war population “explosion” is reflected in the increase of 5-9 year olds, and the low birth-rate of the depression years shows up in the low proportion of 15-19 year olds in 1951 and 20-24 year olds in 1956. On the other hand changes in the Maori age-structure suggest changes in the pattern of migration and, as stated earlier, an increase in the number of city-born Maoris. Thus, in 1956 the 15-19 age-group was more important than the 20-24 age-group which, by contrast, was the more important in 1951. This suggests that by 1956, particularly for males, it was more common

Group 1945 (a) 1951 1956 Increase 1945/51 % Increase 1945/51
European (b) 255,378 316,552 361,454 61,174 24.0
Maori 4,903 7,621 11,361 2,718 55.4
Cook Is. 175 1,088
Niuean 141 615
Cook Is. & Niuean (c) 316 711 1,703 395 125.0
Samoan (d) 430 2,288
Total (includes other groups) 263,390 329,123 381,063 65,733 25.0
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TABLE 2 (Continued)
Group Increase 1951/56 % Increase 1951/56 Increase 1945/56 % Increase 1945/56 Av. Annual % Increase (10.5 yrs.)
European 44,902 14.2 106,076 41.5 4.0
Maori 3,740 49.1 6,458 131.7 12.5
Cook Is. 913 521.7 49.7
Niueans 474 336.2 32.1
Cook Is. & Niuean 992 139.5 1,387 438.9 41.8
Samoan 1,858 432.1 41.2
Total 51,940 15.8 117,673 44.7 4.3
  • NOTES:
  • (a) Because of boundary changes before the 1951 census incorporating new areas into the urban area, 1945 data cannot be strictly compared with 1951 and 1956 data; thus the 1945-1951 population increases are on the old basis, and the total population increase 1945-1951 is higher than that shown in Census Volume I, 1956: p. 15, where adjustments have been able to be made.
  • (b) Includes Europeans and “European-Quarter Caste Maoris”. Other groups include full and “mixed-blood” persons (e.g. half or more Maori or Samoan). For definitions see Census Volume VII, 1956: Introductory.
  • (c) Combined 1951.
  • (d) Combined with Tongans and “Other and Undefined Polynesians”, 1951.

for youths to migrate to the city than for young adults. The high proportion of infants in 1951 is reflected in the increased proportion of 5-9 year olds in 1956. And while there was a slight decrease of female infants there was a greater increase of males in the same age group so that overall there was a slight increase in this age-group which would consist, to a considerable degree, of city-born infants. Finally, there were but slight changes in the proportionate importance of all groups above 25 years.

It would seem that while the number of city-born infants will probably increase, further immigration will probably ensure that youths, city-born and migrants, will be at least as important an age-group. Furthermore from the brief analysis above it is presumed that the period 1951-56 was a period of transition from the migration of young adults, often married and attracted by the “pull” of city life, to the migration of youths “pushed” (as well as “pulled”) to the city by lack of opportunity in their home areas—a pattern that surely must become more common. Thus paradoxically, while Auckland's Maori population is becoming more balanced in the sense that more children are being born in the city, this is offset by the immigration of adolescents.

Over the period the sex ratio of non-Maoris changed little whereas that of Maoris changed from a female predominance to a male predominance (Table IV). Perhaps of greater significance was the increase in the fertility ratio of Maoris from 49.5 to 53.7, an increase which was greater than that of non-Maoris (Table III). This, of course, is just another indication of the increased city birth rate.

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The differences arising in Auckland's Maori population between 1951 and 1956 are not nearly as significant as differences between the Maori Auckland urban and the European, Maori rural, and other Polynesian populations at the 1956 census.

A comparison between Auckland's total population 17 and the Maori Auckland population shows the tremendous differences between the two (Figure 3). Of significance is the deficit in all age-groups above 35, although, once again, the small numbers involved could cause chance variations. Even allowing for this qualification it can be stressed that if the Maori population were at all “mature” such tremendous deficits would not occur, as is proved by comparing these deficits with the smaller deficits found in the non-Maori outer-suburban population when employing the same basis (i.e. the total Auckland population). Moreover, the non-Maori outer-suburban population is by no means a fully “mature” one (also Figure 3). Of even greater significance are the excesses of Maoris in the migrating and infant age-groups to which reference has already been made.

The non-Maori urban population almost parallels the 100 base and was, therefore, not plotted on the graph. However, the divergences of the Maori population are sufficiently large to create by contrast, small deficits in the 0-34 non-Maori age-groups, and small excesses in the 35+ age groups. The actual extreme range is between 96.6 (15-19 years) and 103.0 (75+) for males, and between 94.6 (15-19) and 103.1 (65-74) for females.

The variation between fertility ratios in the Auckland Urban Area is lower than one might expect (Table 3a). However, when the high proportion of Maori females (many unmarried) in the migrating age groups is considered and the comparatively low proportion of Maori females 25-44 (the young married age group) it can be seen that the crude type of ratio employed here hides the real significance of all the ratios, and especially that for Auckland Maoris. Thus in all probability the Maori fertility ratio is considered higher than the non-Maori in Auckland as is shown by Table 3c.

  1951 1956
Maori (Auckland Urban Area) 49.5 53.7
Non-Maori (Auckland Urban Area) 46.3 47.5
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Divergence graph comparing the Maori Auckland Urban Area Population with the Total Auckland Urban Area Population.
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Maori (New Zealand Total) 92.7
Non-Maori (New Zealand Total) 56.7
Maori (New Zealand Urban) 51.8
Maori (Auckland Urban Area) 111.1
Non-Maori (Auckland Urban Area) 68.7
Maori (New Zealand Total) 173.0
Non-Maori (New Zealand Total) 83.4
  • NOTES:
  • (a) Except in Table 3c, fertility ratios in this article are the number of infants (0-4) per 100 women in the reproductive age group (15-44). Obviously, if the ratios had been able to be calculated on, for example, the basis of the number of infants per “ever-married” women 15-44, they would have provided a less crude measure, but separate data for Maori Marital Status are not available for smaller areal units.
  • (b) The ratios employed here are an attempt to overcome some of the drawbacks mentioned above. They are calculated on the basis of infants 0-4 per 100 women 25-44. While this method excludes the unmarried younger women, it also probably excludes some who are married, so once again is not as satisfactory as is desirable.

Because of the higher non-Maori rural birth rates it is noticeable that the Maori Auckland urban fertility ratio is lower than the New Zealand total non-Maori ratio, although it is higher than the Auckland non-Maori ratio. However, all these three are very low when compared with the total Maori fertility ratio which reflects the very high Maori birth rates in rural areas (Table 3a and b). The amendments probably give a truer picture (Table 3c). They show that the fertility ratio of the Maori Auckland Urban population is considerably higher than that of the non-Maori Auckland Urban population, and is even higher than that of the total non-Maori population. However, the Maori Auckland Urban fertility ratio is far lower than that of the total Maori population.

Having established that Auckland's Maori population differs considerably from the non-Maori Auckland population in terms of age structure, it is necessary to show how it differs from the rural Maori population (Figure 4). Because of the high rural birth rates the Maori rural population shows excesses in the pre-migration age-groups. In the migrating age-groups there are deficits, which are greatest for females 15-19, and reaching up to 44 years for males and 65 years for females. The lack of older people in the cities shows up in the excesses among the oldest rural age-groups.

The Auckland divergences are almost directly opposite to those of the Maori rural population, but are far more extreme. Of interest is - 54 the fact that though the proportions of Maoris who are infants in Auckland exceed the non-Maori proportions, the Auckland Maori proportions are, in turn, lower than those of the total Maori population. This graph shows up the importance of the 15-24 Maori age-group in Auckland. But perhaps the greatest value of this graph lies in the impression it presents of the future. One should take the excess in the rural age structure for the 0-14 age-group then project this excess 5, 10 or 15 years hence when many of its members will be contributing to the excesses in the Auckland migrating age-groups. The problems arising from such a migration would exceed present problems.

In this general section two further tasks must be undertaken; namely, to compare the sex ratios and the general residential concentration of Maoris, Europeans and other Polynesians.

  Sex Ratio(a) Percentage of each group of “full” and “mixed blood”(b)
Europeans 95.51 “Full” and “mixed” combined
Maoris 101.44 “Full” and “mixed” combined
Cook Is. (Full)(c) 109.87 74.61
Cook Is. (Part) 79.73 25.39
Cook Is. (Total) 101.30 100.00
Niuean (Full) 174.35 85.48
Niuean (Part) 81.63 14.52
Niuean (Total) 155.42 100.00
Samoan (Full) 141.64 38.41
Samoan (Part) 108.25 61.59
Samoan (Total) 119.92 100.00
Tongan (Full) 95.38 21.78
Tongan (Part) 90.00 78.22
Tongan (Total) 91.14 100.00
Chinese 161.07 “Full” and “mixed” combined (mixed negligible)
Indians 142.38 “Full” and “mixed” combined
Non-Maori 94.46
Maori 99.08
Maori New Zealand Total Urban 97.45
Maori New Zealand Total 104.51
Non-Maori New Zealand Total 100.92
Cook Island 107.9(d)
Niue 93.5(d)
Western Samoa 104.7(e)
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  • (a) Males per 100 Females.
  • (b) For definitions of “full” and “mixed” blood persons see Census Volume VII (Preface and pp. 4-6) and Volume VIII (p. 5), 1956.
  • (c) Because of striking differences between the “full” and “mixed” blood sex ratios these have been shown separately.
  • (d) Sources: Department of Island Territories, 1957: 10 and 72.
  • (e) Source: New Zealand Government Western Samoa Report, 1957: 118.

Taking the total population for each ethnic group it can be seen that the Maori sex ratio is lower than the Samoan, the Niuean and those of the two relatively long-established non-Polynesian minority groups, the Chinese and the Indian (includes some Pakistanis). However, it is higher than the European, Tongan and Cook Island ratios. The differences between Maoris and Niueans, on the one hand, and Maoris and Europeans on the other, highlight the quite different patterns of immigration.

In the first case Maori immigration would appear to be of a relatively permanent type involving the movement of both males and females. The Niueans (and the full Cook Islanders, Samoans, Chinese and Indians 18) follow the lines of classical migrating groups and have the large excess of males typical of such groups, especially where temporary migration is a common pattern. By contrast the small part-Niuean group has a sex ratio which is similar to all the part-European groups other than the Samoans, and is characterised by a predominance of females.

In the second case the lower European ratio reflects the important migration of females in search of employment. European males find employment more easily in rural areas than do females, thus their need to migrate is often less. Employment opportunities, even for males, seem to be less in Maori source areas thus they are forced to migrate. Once again, by subtracting the “County” figures (to allow for Papakura Military Camp) there is a change; in this case, to a female dominance (94.20 in every 100 females). But this is unsatisfactory for males dominate in all county age-groups, not only the 15-24 group.

Before leaving the subject of sex ratios it is worthwhile making some incidental observations on the Pacific Island Polynesian ratios. The Tongan sex ratios remain perplexing, but perhaps the predominance of females is related to questions of Tongan land tenure. Anyway the Tongans are the smallest group in Auckland and their migration appears to contain fewer elements of necessity than do the migrations of other groups. The Samoan ratio is similarly perplexing and in lieu of clarification the writer assumes that the part Samoan is more likely to migrate than the full Samoan who may be more fully integrated into Samoan society. But for all these ethnic groups there is much need for

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Divergence graph comparing the Maori Auckland Urban Area Population and the Maori Rural Population with the Total Maori Population.
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further research, both in New Zealand and in the source areas, into social structure, values, social mobility and economic opportunities for male and female “full-bloods” and part-Europeans. Only then could any reasonable attempt be made at assessing the causes for the large differences in the sex ratios. 19

To summarise, the overall patterns of sex ratios seem to be these: that of the Europeans is characteristic (for New Zealand urban areas) in its predominance of females, that of the Maoris has a slight predominance of males, while those of other Polynesians a greater predominance of males and in some cases an extreme predominance.

The residential concentration (Table 5) 20 of the various groups is a valuable key to the stage of migration reached by the groups. Most Aucklanders are aware of the fact that concentrations of various ethnic groups are to be found in certain districts, usually near the centre of the city. This is known to occur in places overseas where migrants have entered urban areas. But there has been no attempt to make some comparison between the groups.

Ethnic Group Shevky and Williams' Formula (a) Amended Formula (b)
Europeans 0.97 0.97
Maoris 1.90 1.90
Tongans 2.05 2.65
Samoans 3.08 3.30
Niueans 6.27 12.85
Cook Islanders 6.75 7.75
  • NOTES:
  • (a) See Shevky and Williams, 1949:51.
  • (Σ (P1N)/T)/P2 Where P1=% of the population in a census division belonging to a particular ethnic group.
  • N=Number of persons in a census division belonging to the group.
  • T=Total number of the group in the whole urban area.
  • P2=% of the total population of the whole urban area belonging to the group.
  • (b)(Σ (P1N)/T) (Y1/Y2)/P2 Where Y1=Total number of census divisions, Auckland urban area.
  • Y2=Census divisions in which one or more members of the particular group reside.
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By comparing the two indices it can be seen that Maoris are found in all census divisions, in contrast with other Polynesians, but that they are concentrated to some degree in a number of census divisions. Cook Islanders and Niueans are proportionately important in the census divisions they most commonly reside in, and are completely absent in a number of others, this latter tendency being most marked for Niueans. Samoans and Tongans are less markedly concentrated than Niueans and Cook Islanders but are more heavily concentrated than Maoris.

Europeans have an almost even distribution (0.97) as might be expected. The fact that their index number is not quite 1.0 is due to quite significant proportions of non-Europeans in the population of a few census divisions, e.g. Freemans Bay where non-Europeans constitute about 20 per cent of the population.

Thus while the Maori population is relatively concentrated in residential distribution in Auckland when compared with Europeans, their degree of concentration is far lower than other Polynesian groups, especially Cook Islanders and Niueans. This, of course, does not account for small concentrations in limited areas within census divisions but gives the overall picture. 21 The importance of non-Europeans anywhere is, of course, only relative.


This first part of the article has described the overall characteristics of a slightly male-dominant, residentially concentrated ethnic group in an urban area; an ethnic group which has unduly high proportions of late adolescents and young adults because of constant immigration, mainly in the post-war period, and of infants because of its high urban birth rate. It is an ethnic group which is quite different, demographically, from the European majority and from its rural counterpart. In the latter part of the article a breakdown into areas within Auckland will show the effects of suburban movement, and we shall consider the areas most affected by immigration and high birth rate.

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Part II: Intra-Urban Differences

In 1951 the greatest concentration of Maoris in Auckland was to be found in, and around, the central core, although some Maoris resided in the newer state housing settlements and in the market garden areas. 22 By 1956, however, their distribution was far more even, and the area containing the largest group of Maoris was the Outer Suburbs (Table 6). 23 Furthermore while quite significant increases occurred in the Inner City and Inner Suburban areas, these increases were dwarfed by the increases in the Outer Suburbs. Table 6 shows that the Maori intra-urban population movements were similar to those of the non-Maori in a very general manner. That is, there was a movement to the Outer Suburbs and a relative decline in the importance of the Inner City and Inner Suburbs as residential areas.

  1951   1956   Increase/Decrease
Area Number % Number % Number %
Inner City            
Maori 3,245 42.58 3,686 32.44 +441 +13.6
Non-Maori 88,990 27.68 80,917 21.89 -8,073 -9.1
Inner Suburbs            
Maori 1,659 21.77 2,116 18.63 +457 +27.5
Non-Maori 114,171 35.52 112,105 30.32 -2,066 -1.8
Outer Suburbs            
Maori 1,954 25.63 4,392 38.66 +2,438 +124.8
Non-Maori 102,111 31.76 145,744 39.42 +43,633 +42.7
Maori 763 10.02 1,167 10.27 +404 +52.9
Non-Maori 16,230 5.04 30,936 8.37 +14,706 +90.6
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Therefore, this table answers explicitly a question set at the start: there has definitely been a movement of Maoris to the suburbs, particularly the Outer Suburbs. Of course, to some degree, the increases are caused by the higher birth rates of the Outer Suburbs (see Table 10, Fertility Ratios), but the movement of Maori families into new housing estates is also a very important cause.

Two questions arise at this point: what factors provided the impetus for such a shift, and why have Maoris moved directly to the Outer Suburbs rather than from Inner City to Inner Suburbs? In answering the first question the writer suggests that there have been relative changes in the emphasis of Maori values under urban conditions. For, whereas “the great majority” of Cook Islanders (and presumably Samoans and Niueans) “prefer to remain within a close circle of kin and neighbourhood associations” 24 in the Inner City, such bonds do not seem so inflexible in the Maori Urban society as to inhibit a large-scale shift away from the former area of concentration. 25 Given this factor, it is not at all surprising that Maoris have taken advantage of the opportunity of moving into new homes, particularly state rental dwellings and houses financed under a Maori Affairs Department Scheme. 26 Finally, the shift of many industrial concerns into outer areas such as Mt. Wellington and Penrose must have influenced some Maori householders into shifting to residential areas near the new industrial sites. Therefore the Maoris in Auckland have followed a normal trend to the suburbs, although the proportion of the Maori population remaining in the Inner City is still very high.

The second question has been partly answered already. That is, Maoris have tended to move to new homes which, on the whole, are located in outer areas. Furthermore, a review of non-Maori age structures (Table 9) shows that the Inner Suburbs have an older and virtually static 27 population composed, to a considerable degree, of middle-aged and retired people who would not be likely to shift, thus purchasable dwellings are probably few for much of the Inner Suburbs. However, a further factor is that a considerable portion of the Inner Suburbs is composed of census divisions of a higher social grade(Table 7) and, as is true for all the urban areas, Maoris tend to reside in the lower grade areas and thus they have not been attracted to this section of the city.

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Area Social Grade(b)
  Lower-Lower Upper-Lower Lower-Middle Upper-Middle Lower-Upper Upper-Upper
Inner City Maoris 13.19 4.99 17.62 0.36
Non-Maoris 3.80 6.47 11.69 1.92
Inner Suburbs Maoris 11.36 4.99 4.26 0.15
Non-Maoris 15.25 9.52 7.53 0.79
Outer Suburbs Maoris 35.65 6.05 1.33 0.05
Non-Maoris 27.26 10.63 4.26 0.88
  • NOTES:
  • (a) In this table does not include the Counties.
  • (b) Source of data on Social Grades: Pool, 1960.

It is worth noting that even in the Outer Suburbs Maoris are concentrated in the areas of lowest social grade to a greater degree than are non-Maoris, and these areas are composed mainly of large-scale estates of new single unit dwellings. So that while Maoris have shifted from the lower grade areas of the Inner City, where, however, they are still disproportionately represented, they have not spread into a variety of residential areas but have concentrated in the Outer Suburban areas of a lower social grade.

  European(a) Maori Cook Is. Niuean Samoan Tongan Pacific(b) Island Polynesian
Inner City 21.36 32.44 65.10 77.16 63.85 47.36 63.83
Inner Suburbs 30.50 18.63 16.34 9.30 17.25 19.38 16.24
Outer Suburbs(c) 48.14 48.93 18.56 13.54 18.90 33.26 19.93
  • NOTES:
  • (a) For this table consists of the Non-Maori population minus the Maori and Pacific Island Populations; therefore includes Europeans (proper) and, for example, Chinese and Indians.
  • (b) Consists of Cook Is., Niuean, Samoan and Tongan Populations.
  • (c) Includes the counties, because very few Pacific Island Polynesians reside in the counties.
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The vast majority of non-Maoris who have moved from the Inner City are Europeans. The places of these Europeans and of the Maoris leaving the Inner City have been taken by another group of migrants—the Pacific Island Polynesians—who, as Table II (Part I) shows, increased the importance tremendously in the period 1951-56. By 1956, 3.45 per cent of Inner City dwellers were Pacific Islanders. 28

This suggests that since the war there has been a wave of Maori immigration to the Inner City and that this has been accompanied by a more recent wave of Pacific Island immigration. With the likelihood of increasing Maori immigration to the city, it is also likely that many immigrants will be forced to reside in the Inner City. The presence of another migrant group could lead to competition, especially for jobs and dwellings, which, in turn, could lead to severe tension. However, the changing status of Western Samoa could reduce the number of Pacific Island migrants entering Auckland.

By 1956, therefore, three distribution patterns were found in Auckland (Table VIII). The Inner City contained the lowest proportion of the European population. The greatest proportion of Europeans were found in the Outer Suburbs, which reflected the movement from the central city and the “suburbanization” so characteristic of present Western cities. Incidentally, as Table VI shows, there was a decrease of non-Maoris in both the Inner City and Inner Suburbs during the preceding five years.

The distribution pattern of Maori fell between that of the Europeans and that of the Pacific Islanders. Thus the largest group was found in the Outer Suburbs, as in the case of Europeans, but the second largest group was in the Inner City; the smallest group being in the Inner Suburbs. Although there was an overall increase in the Maori Inner City population between 1951 and 1956 significant decreases occurred in three census divisions which contained large numbers of Maoris and which included many areas of depressed housing. 29

The third pattern was that of the Pacific Islanders who were most strongly represented in the Inner City, weakly represented in the Outer Suburbs and most uncommon in the Inner Suburbs. Their concentration was far greater than was the concentration of Europeans or Maoris. However, individual groups varied between a 77 per cent concentration in the Inner City and a 47 per cent concentration. 30

Thus Auckland's Maori population had participated in the suburban movement of the period 1951-56 but still had an unduly high proportion - 63 of its members in the Inner City. The Maori proportion in the Inner City, however, was far lower than that of the Pacific Islanders.


An analysis of the age structure of the urban units shows that the immigrating age groups (15-34) were most heavily represented in the Inner City. Thus, Auckland's Maori population was divided into roughly two sections: the newer immigrant groups of the central city area, and the older family groups in the suburban areas (Table IX) 31 In other words, the Inner City is acting, to some degree, as a “reception-centre” for young Maoris entering the city and as these people become married they tend to move to the Outer Suburbs.

Table IX further highlights the effect of the Compulsory Military Training intake at Papakura Camp. Thus, there is a low ratio of males to females in the Inner City migrating age group, whereas the reverse is found, to an extreme, in the counties. 32 Even allowing for the distortions caused by an unusually high porportion of young males in the camp, there is still an excess of males in all age groups in the counties. Perhaps, therefore, the types of jobs available in the two areas attract a different type of migrant—tertiary employment and light industrial jobs in the central area might attract females; labouring, market gardening and heavy industrial jobs on the outskirts of the city might attract males. Whether or not this distinction is a real one will become more obvious at the 1961 census.

    0-14     15-34     35+  
  M F Sex Ratio M F Sex Ratio M F Sex Ratio
Inner City                  
Non-Maori 8.87 8.69 102.1 14.40 13.22 108.9 25.82 29.00 89.0
Maori 11.25 11.77 95.6 24.74 30.85 80.2 11.85 9.54 124.2
Inner Suburbs                  
Non-Maori 12.31 12.04 102.2 11.86 12.88 92.1 23.08 27.83 82.9
Maori 18.90 16.88 112.0 20.01 21.94 91.2 11.13 11.14 99.9
Outer Suburbs                  
Non-Maori 17.35 16.35 106.1 12.71 13.67 93.0 19.47 20.45 95.2
Maori 23.49 23.55 99.7 16.02 18.93 84.6 9.11 8.90 102.4
Non-Maori 16.05 14.24 112.7 18.04 14.82 121.7 18.83 18.02 104.5
Maori 19.55 14.04 139.2 37.47 12.40 302.2 9.56 6.98 137.0
- 64
  Sex Ratio
Inner City  
Non-Maori 96.4
Maori 91.7
Inner Suburbs  
Non-Maori 89.6
Maori 100.2
Outer Suburbs  
Non-Maori 98.1
Maori 94.6
Non-Maori 112.4
Maori 205.4

The argument that the Maoris residing in the Outer Suburbs are more likely to be settled family groups is proved by the higher proportion of 0-14 year olds in the Outer Suburbs and by the higher fertility ratios (Table X) in that area. By contrast the Inner City has lower proportions of 0-14 years olds and the fertility ratios are lower.

Inner City  
Non-Maori 33.6
Maori 30.4
Inner Suburbs  
Non-Maori 34.9
Maori 54.0
Outer Suburbs  
Non-Maori 60.0
Maori 82.2
Non-Maori 64.8
Maori 77.1

In the section of this paper dealing with overall characteristics it was shown that Auckland's Maori population was heavily weighted towards immigrating age groups, but that it also had a high birth rate. This breakdown of population data for areas within Auckland reveals that the more recent immigrants are located primarily in central areas and the family groups in outer areas. To some degree, therefore, there are two distinct groups of Auckland Maoris: the migrants most heavily concentrated in the central area and dominantly of the 15-34 age group, and the longer-settled suburban dwellers composed of family groups. - 65 The latter group is the more “urbanized” in the sense that it is following the trend of the European majority in moving to the suburbs, even if there is a greater tendency for Maoris to settle in the lower grade outer suburbs. The former group have yet to go through the process of “settling-in” and in this sense are less “urbanized”. The question which one must ask is this: with the probable increase of immigration will the Inner City group become “settled-in” sufficiently before the next “generation” of immigrants provides really severe competition for jobs and for housing in the central city area?

Part III: Conclusion

Two of the questions set at the beginning have been answered. Two are partially answered and remain to be fully answered on the basis of data presented in the paper. The first concerns the critical stage which has been reached by Auckland's Maori population. That is, it is neither a typical urban population, when compared with the European majority group, nor a typical Maori population when compared with other Maori populations. Its character could change in two quite different directions—it could follow the “mature” form of the non-Maori urban population, or else it could take on the “pyramid-like” structure of the “emergent” Maori rural population. Either of these two alternatives could occur only when there is stability and when migrants constitute only a small proportion of the total. For the time being the influx of migrants and the high urban birth rate will probably operate together in making Auckland's Maori population a unique one.

The other question is the degree of “urbanization”. There is not really a satisfactory method of defining urbanization, but using available crude measures it has been shown that Auckland's Maori population is more “urbanized”, in some senses, than it was in 1951, and in comparison with other Polynesian populations, though not in comparison with the European population. For by 1956 Maoris were a significant group in suburban areas, and family groups were important in such areas. But one must always take into account the recent immigrant groups who will probably constitute a significant proportion of Auckland's Maori population for some time.

However, Auckland must not be viewed alone; one must recognise pressures in other sections of the country. Metge 33 could say that Auckland Maoris “knew that if the worst came to the worst they could always go home”. Today one must ask: to what? and to where? Pressures on land are so great that the urban influx must continue; and the places of those who leave for the city are rapidly filled by the high rural birth rate. Therefore, what opportunities are there at “home” either for the successful migrant, or the failure? Certainly there are cultural incentives to return but these can be fulfilled in part by temporary visits. The second question—to where?—will be perhaps the more important in the future. The relatively high urban birth rate - 66 and the increase in the number of long-established city-dwellers has possibly led to the development of a group who, for want of a better name, might be called the “new tangata whenua”, the people whose true “home” is Auckland, and these people are the “urbanized” Maoris.

(a) Books and Articles
  • BEAGLEHOLE, Ernest, 1957. “The Maori in New Zealand.” International Labour Review, 76, 2:103-123.
  • BOOTH, J., 1960. “The Maori in Town and Country.” Pacific Viewpoint, I, 1:111-114.
  • BORRIE, W. D., 1959. “The Maori Population,” in Anthropology in the South Seas, Freeman, J. D. and Geddes, W. R. (Eds.):247-262. New Plymouth, Thomas Avery & Sons Ltd.
  • CRAIG, Elsdon, 1959. “Housing: An Urgent Problem.” Te Ao Hou, 27:48-52.
  • FRANKLIN, S. H., 1958. “The Age Structure of New Zealand's North Island Communities.” Economic Geography, 34, 1:64-79.
  • HOOPER, A. B., 1958. Social Relations Among Cook Islanders in Auckland. Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Auckland University.
  • METGE, A. Joan, 1951. The Distribution and Character of the Maori Population of the Auckland Province. Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Auckland University.
  • — — 1958. Continuity in Change: Urbanization and Modern Maori Society. Unpublished MS. (Turnbull Library), 1958, based on unpublished Ph.D. Thesis presented London University.
  • POOL, Ian, 1960. “A Method for the Social Grading of Areas.” Pacific Viewpoint, I, 2:225-237.
  • SHEVKY, Eshref and WILLIAMS, Marilyn, 1949. Social Areas of Los Angeles. Los Angeles,
  • SORRENSON, M. P. K., 1959. “The Maori People and the City of Auckland.” Te Ao Hou, 27:8-13.
(b) Official Publications
  • DEPARTMENT OF ISLAND TERRITORIES, 1957. Report on the Cook, Niue and Tokelau Islands for the year ended March 31, 1957. Appendices Journal House of Representatives, (A.J.H.R.) (A-3), Wellington.
  • — — 1960. Report of the Department of Island Territories for the year ended 31 March, 1960. A.J.H.R. (A-5), Wellington.
  • NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT. Report to the General Assembly U.N. of the Administration of Western Samoa for the Calendar Year 1957.
  • 1945: Volume I—Increase and Location of Population.
  • Volume VIII—Race.
  • 1951: Volume I—Increase and Location of Population.
  • Volume II—Age and Marital Status.
  • Volume VI—Maori Population.
  • Volume VIII—General Report.
  • 1956: Volume I—Increase and Location of Population.
  • Volume II—Age and Marital Status.
  • Volume VII—Race.
  • Volume VIII—Maori Population and Dwellings.
1   Borrie, 1959:249 and 257. This article follows Borrie's paper in defining an “emergent” population as one having a high fertility, a falling mortality, and “no substantial degree of rational control over fertility”. By contrast a “mature” population has a “low mortality and a high degree of rational control over fertility . . .” in reaction “. . . to recession and boom in the economic cycle”. (Borrie 1959:257).
2   As defined by the Government Statistician. All data employed in this paper, unless otherwise stated, were obtained either from published census volumes (see references) or from the Department of Statistics. The terms “city”, “Auckland city” and “Auckland” are synonymous with the Auckland Urban Area in this paper unless otherwise stated. The census definition of Maori is followed here. “For census purposes the Maori population includes all Maoris of full blood, all persons with half or more Maori blood and all mixtures of Maoris with Other Polynesians”. Census, 1956,Vol. VIII:5.
3   That there has been important Maori immigration into Auckland is proved by reference to Table I. More specifically, however, if the age-group 10-14 (1951) is compared with the age-group 15-19 (1956) there is an increase from 733 to 1,698, an increase of 965, all of whom must have been migrants. Similarly, the 15-19 age-group (1951) numbered 999; the 20-24 age-group (1956) numbered 1,512, an increase of 513.
4   See Census Volume VII, 1956:8-9.
5   49.77 per cent of the 22,825 Maoris living in New Zealand's 15 urban areas (i.e. cities and their rural-urban fringes) reside in the Auckland Urban Area alone.
6   This difference could be caused by the presence of the 20th 18-year-old Compulsory Military Training intake in Papakura Military Camp. If it is presumed that all of the 181 Maoris (Census Volume I, 1956:85) in the camp on 17th April, 1956 (Census date) were males aged 15-24 they would constitute some 53.9 per cent of Maoris in that age group in the parts of three counties included in the urban area. Some 25.9 per cent of Auckland Maori males 15-19 were in the “counties” in 1956 and 15.9 per cent of 20-24 year olds. Both these percentages were far higher than the percentage of the total Maori population there (10.27 per cent).
7   This divergence graph is of the type employed by Franklin (see Franklin, 1958) and is used in preference to age pyramids to bring out differences. The index numbers are the ratio of the proportion in each age group of a particular population to the proportion in the same age group in a universal population, which is represented as the base line (100). An index number above 100 represents a relative excess in that particular age group; and below a relative deficit in an age group. Because Maori ages are given in 10 year groups from 25 onwards the graph, and (to remain consistent) all age data in this article (Maori and non-Maori) shows the average of each pair of 5 year age groups.
8   Even when “county” figures are subtracted from Auckland Urban and New Zealand Maori urban populations (specific age-groups and totals) in order to remove the anomalies caused by the concentration of young Maori Males in Papakura Camp, there remains a slight surplus of Males (15-19) in Auckland when Auckland and New Zealand urban are compared, and a considerable deficit of females (15-19). However, in the 20-24 age-group, the females and the males show slight surpluses. This supports the view that there have been changes in the character of Auckland's migrant group which are the forerunners of changes in the migrant groups of other urban areas (see below).
9   Sorrenson, 1959.
10   Metge, 1951:49.
11   Metge, 1951:106.
12   Metge, 1958:158.
13   Metge, 1958:184.
14   Metge, 1958:182.
15   Beaglehole, 1957:III.
16   It is presumed that within the limits imposed by the male-dominant sex ratios (see below) natural increases for these Polynesians must compare more with Maoris in Auckland rather than with Europeans. It was noted in reference to New Zealand residents that: “In 1956, 19 per cent of the persons classified as of Samoan racial origin, 14 per cent of the Cook Island Maoris, and 11 per cent of the Niueans were born in New Zealand. The remainder enter as immigrants.” Department of Island Territories, 1960:16.
17   Auckland's total population is, of course, different in turn from the New Zealand total population, but follows the general urban trend. The divergence between the New Zealand urban population and the total New Zealand population at 1951 is similar in general to that between Auckland and New Zealand in 1956 which, for reasons of space, is not included here. The age structures of the New Zealand urban communities have already been analysed (for 1951). See Franklin, 1958.
18   Physical, economic and demographic conditions appear to be such on Niue Island that emigration probably becomes even more a necessity for Niueans than for any of the groups residing in Auckland. This is reflected in the low ratio of males remaining on Niue (Table 4c).
19   Such research is not relevant to the main theme of this paper. The only study of the social relations of Pacific Island Polynesians in Auckland, known to the writer, is Hooper 1958.
20   The index employed in Table 5 is a ratio which “indicates the number of times the average concentration (of an ethnic group in a district) is greater than the group's percentage in the total population of the area studied”. i.e. If there is a random distribution the index number is 1.0. If they are important in a few districts but uncommon elsewhere the index number is greater than 1.0. See Shevky and Williams, 1949:49. The amendment to the formula, made by the present writer, brings out the clustering in neighbourhoods more sharply by taking into account the number of census divisions in which the particular ethnic group is located.
21   e.g. Kitemoana Street, Orakei (Maoris). cf. Hooper, 1958:18-19 (Cook Islanders). When referring to Parnell he notes that: “It is only in a few streets in this area that there may be found concentrations of houses occupied by coloured people that are at all comparable with those recorded by Little from ‘Bute Town’, Cardiff.” (K. L. Little: Negroes in Britain.)
22   cf. Metge, 1958:130-131.
23   The division of the urban area into four areal units—the Inner City, the Inner Suburbs, the Outer Suburbs and the Counties—is based on a Demographic Index which divides Auckland into grades on the basis of Density of Population, Increase and Decrease 1951-56, and the Ratio of Male Minors to Male Adults. See Pool, 1960:232-233. For the purpose of the present article all census divisions from rank 1 to rank 25 (see Pool, 1960: Fig. 4) were combined to form the Outer Suburbs division, most being newer outer suburbs. Ranks 26 to 42 were combined to form the Inner Suburbs, and ranks 43 to 58 to form the Inner City. These three areas form what are virtually concentric zones. A further category, the “counties” is composed of the parts of Waitemata, Manukau and Franklin counties in the urban area. It must be stressed that each area is relatively homogeneous only in terms of overall demographic character, not in terms of social grade, land use, etc.
24   Hooper, 1958:19. Hooper notes also (p. 18) that: “An Auckland lawyer who handles the legal and financial details for most Cook Islanders buying houses in the city has tried for a number of years to persuade people to buy houses away from Ponsonby and Parnell, with almost a complete lack of success.”
25   cf. Metge, 1958:275 and 283, who notes that intertribal marriage was the dominant pattern in the city, and that this pattern was a departure from rural “practice and ideology”.
26   See Craig, 1959:52. He notes that under the scheme 724 homes have been built, and that in addition 410 families have been housed in state rental dwellings.
27   See Table 6.
28   4.35 per cent were Maoris; in the Inner City in 1956 there were 79.3 Pacific Islanders to every 100 Maoris.
29   Freemans Bay, Newton and Auckland Central. In 1951 they contained 61.4 per cent of the Inner City Maoris. By 1956 only 45.8 per cent were in these three divisions. This suggests that movement was from the most blighted areas and not from the Inner City as a whole.
30   The extreme concentration of Niueans, their male-dominant sex ratio, etc., give them the characteristics of classical migrant communities. The Tongan concentration, 47 per cent, is the lowest and supports the hypothesis that their migration is less of a necessity than are the migrations of other Pacific Islanders.
31   Divergences are so extreme for areas within Auckland that this summary table highlights the major trends and is thus presented in preference to divergence graphs. The years 15 and 35 are taken as the arbitrary limits because they are the two ages where there is a significant change in the patterns of divergence (see Fig. III, Part I).
32   For the urban area as a whole Females dominate in the migrating age groups but males dominate in the 0-14 and 35+ age groups.
33   Metge, 1958:176.