Immigration, multiculturalism and geography

Inter-group contact and attitudes to immigrants and cultural diversity in New Zealand

Ron Johnston*, Phillip Gendall, Andrew Trlin, Paul Spoonley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Changes in the sources of immigrants have generated a major alteration to the ethnic composition of New Zealand society and encouraged policy shifts towards a multicultural society. These changes have stimulated considerable resistance, however, with many New Zealanders believing there are too many immigrants in the country, especially from Asia and the Pacific Islands - although such anti-immigrant attitudes were believed to be stronger among those with less contact with the evolving multicultural society. A survey of attitudes to immigration and multiculturalism was used to test this argument. It found variations in line with contact theory: Auckland residents in particular were more likely to have extensive contacts with immigrants and less opposed to immigration and multiculturalism. Given New Zealand's continued need for skilled immigrants, this raises important policy issues regarding the promotion of a multicultural society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-369
Number of pages27
JournalAsian and Pacific Migration Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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