What the data say about discrimination and tolerance in New Zealand

phys.org | 8/3/2017 | Staff
MysticHeartMysticHeart (Posted by) Level 3
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Following the Christchurch mosque shootings, there has been considerable discussion of intolerance and experiences of discrimination in New Zealand.

For example, Anjum Rahman, a spokesperson for the Islamic Women's Council, has expressed concerns about rising levels of discrimination against the Muslim community.

Discussion - Examples - Discrimination - Intolerance - Anecdotes

This discussion has been driven by specific examples of discrimination or intolerance. Such anecdotes clearly prove wrong the idea that New Zealand is free of discrimination or intolerance, but they provide no evidence of societal prevalence of such experiences and attitudes.

My aim here is to consider data on the occurrence of discrimination and the extent of tolerance across New Zealand society, in aggregate and by different groups. This allows some generalisable conclusions about what we do and don't know.

Stats - NZ - General - Social - Survey

Stats NZ's most recent General Social Survey (collected between April 2016 and April 2017) allows a consideration of local discrimination and tolerance. It uses an officially collected and statistically representative population sample. It also enables an analysis by subgroups defined by migrant status, main ethnic category and region.

Aggregating across all experiences of discrimination (e.g. by ethnicity, age, gender, dress, language, religion, sexual orientation etc), and hence maximising reported discrimination, most New Zealanders (83.1%) report no discrimination in the previous year. There is little difference in reported discrimination between New Zealand-born people (83.5% report no discrimination) and long-term migrants (83.7%). However, while a large majority of recent migrants (74.3%) report no discrimination, the figure was smaller.

Categories - Majority - Report - Discrimination - New

Across all major ethnic categories, the large majority report no discrimination. Of New Zealand Europeans, 85.4% report no discrimination. Rates for Pacific (80.1%), Māori (74.4%) and Asian New Zealanders (73.4%) are lower, but still high.

In terms of regional differences, 83.1% of Cantabrians (where Christchurch is) report no discrimination, identical to New Zealand-wide rates. On this evidence, Canterbury is not a local hotbed of discrimination.

How big are the observed...
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