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Asian Immigrants wins trust of Kiwis

November 2013, 19
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New Zealand Multicultural
A recent study has shown that, more than half of non-Asians in NZ are positive about Asians living alongside them. This positive attitude will surely bring in more Asian workers as well as students to New Zealand. Most of the foreign students in New Zealand are Asians as well.
The study also found that, Maori was not much in favour of Asian migration, the report is named - New Zealanders' perception of Asia and Asian Peoples 1997 – 2011. The best part is, in 1997, only 32% of Kiwis had a more positive outlook towards Asian migration, compared to a higher 55% in the year 2011.
Within 15 years, the perception has changes dramatically, most of the Kiwis now believe that Asian folks are adding significantly to their economy – 83% and made a vast difference in the cultural diversity – 79%. However, few still believes that Asians do not blend well with New Zealanders – 46% as well as their cultural understanding about New Zealand should improve – 70%.
The report states that, the change in perception over the last 15 years is mainly due to the rising number of interactions between the two communities, there are more Asian people around now, and higher the chances of bumping into one. With more and more interactions, a major reduction of prejudice was observed in the attitude of New Zealanders.
Prof Paul Spoonley, an author of the report said that during the period of 1996 general election, the attitude of New Zealanders towards Asian Migrants to NZ scored very low points, however, he has seen a drastic improvement in the attitude after 2000. He also said that, nowadays, Kiwis are more positive about Asian migrants than migrants from anywhere else, including Australia.
The only problem children were the respondents from Maori, who according to the survey were worried about locals losing jobs to the migrants, plus the cultural disparity between the communities. There was also a confusion regarding the acceptance of Treaty of Waitangi by Asian Immigrants to New Zealand.
The attitude of Kiwis towards Asians generally comes out of the perceptions of China and Japan to a lesser extent, when they think of Asians, they think about Chinese. However, the rise of China as a global power has added to the positive attitude along with China being one of the largest trading partners of NZ. What happens in the next 15 years will be directly related to the growth and socio-political changes in China. So, this is the right time for anyone from Asia to apply for a New Zealand visa to settle, visit, business or just to study there.

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