New Zealand Culture


According to New Zealand’s 2013 Census, 47.65% of New Zealanders are Christian; 12.6% are Catholic, 11.8% are Anglican, 8.5% are Presbyterian, and 7.3% belong to some other denomination of Christianity. 41.9% recorded that they do not identify with a religion, and 6.32% belong to some other religion such as Islam, Hinduism, or Judaism.

The 2011 Australian Census showed that of the New Zealand-born people living in Australia, roughly 43.8% are Christian, 34.6% claim no religion and 27.3% belong to different faith.

Many of the British who settled in New Zealand in the 19th century arrived with the intent of setting up Christian missions. They wished to convert the lawless British who had arrived from the Australian penal colony, as well as the tribal Māori. As Māori culture is polytheistic, it quite easily accepted a new God to be blended in with its practices, resulting in almost all Māori adopting some Christian tenets or understandings. This was part of a larger mission scheme throughout the Pacific Ocean, so most Pacific Islanders in New Zealand that have migrated from neighbouring islands are also very strong believers in the Christian faith. Today, while traditional denominations of Christianity have been declining in popularity, evangelical sects are continuing to gain adherents.

The percentage of people identifying as non-religious has been steadily increasing from 29.6% in 2001, to 34.6% in 2006, and again to 41.9% in 2013. It is estimated that of all who identify as having no religion, less than 10% would be committed atheists. Nonetheless, the decline in the popularity of faith is evident, so much so that the Pew Forum predicts New Zealand to have a non-religious majority by the end of the century. This is perhaps due to a generational difference as data shows that younger people are less likely to have religious affiliations. New Zealanders with European or Māori descent are also more likely to claim no religion. However, recent migrants—including people of Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, Latin American and African populations—are much more likely to be religious.
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New Zealand
  • Population
    [July 2016 est.]
  • Language
    English (89.8%)
    Te reo Māori (3.5%)
    Samoan (2%)
    Other (5%)
    Sign language (official)
    Note: Total surpasses 100% due to the ability to select multiple responses on census.
    [Census, 2013]
  • Religion
    No Religion (41.9%)
    Catholic Christianity (12.6%)
    Anglican Christianity (11.8%)
    Presbyterian Christianity (8.5%)
    Other Christianity (7.3%)
    Other (6.32%)
    Note: Total surpasses 100% due to the ability to select multiple responses on census.
    [Census, 2013]
  • Ethnicity
    European (71.2%)
    Māori (14.1%)
    Asian (11.3%)
    Islander Peoples (7.6%)
    Other (2.7%)
    Note: Total surpasses 100% due to the ability to select multiple responses on census.
    [Census, 2013]
  • Cultural Dimensions
  • Australians with New Zealand/Māori Ancestry
    349,877 [Census, 2016]
New Zealanders in Australia
  • Population
    [Census, 2016]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in New Zealand.
  • Median Age
    42 [Census, 2016]
  • Gender
    Male (50.4%)
    Female (49.6%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Religion
    No Religion (43.8%)
    Catholic Christianity (13.3%)
    Anglican Christianity (11.9%)
    Presbyterian & Reformed Christianity (5.7%)
    Christianity [not defined] (4.6%)
    Other Religion (15.0%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Ancestry
    English (32.5%)
    Scottish (12.8%)
    Māori (11.8%)
    New Zealander (11.6%)
    Other Ancestry (31.2%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Language Spoken at Home
    English (89.7%)
    Samoan (2.8%)
    Te reo Māori (1.8%)
    Tongan (0.6%)
    Other Language (4.1%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 95.3% speak English fluently.
    [Census, 2016]
  • Diaspora
    Queensland (38.8%)
    New South Wales (22.6%)
    Victoria (18.0%)
    Western Australia (15.3%)
    Other (5.3%)
    [Census, 2016]
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2007 (64.3%)
    2007 - 2011 (17.4%)
    2012 - 2016 (14.4%)
    [Census, 2016]
Country Flag Country New Zealand