Auckland, July 8 : A new study has found that the headcount of Asians in New Zealand was increasing due to the growing ties with the region, and the Asians might eventually outnumber the Maori population in the country.
According to the 2006 census, Asians in New Zealand numbered 354,552, roughly 9.2 percent of the country's total population, and Maori 565,329, around 14.6 percent. Under the fresh projections, Statistics New Zealand sees the Asian population reaching 790,000 by 2026, marginally behind the Maori population on an estimated 820,000.
Conducted by the Asia New Zealand Foundation the study titled "Asians in New Zealand: Implications of a Changing Demography", found that the closer economic ties would have a profound effect on New Zealand's population, reported the stuff.co.nz.
During the past 20 years successive New Zealand governments have tried to make the country an active participant in Asia in terms of business community, and the education sector.
An integral part of the growing relationship with Asia has been the opening up of New Zealand to immigration of talent, capital and visitors from Asia, said researchers Richard Bedford and Elsie Ho, of Waikato University's Population Studies Centre, found the study.
The signing of the free trade agreement with China in April was a clear sign of the importance New Zealand government and business interests placed on strengthening ties with the region, the report said and added that as a result, the number of Asians wanting to live in New Zealand would continue to increase, as it had over the past 20 years.