Why do we need more migrant data?

Why do we need more migrant data?

(Content on this page is supplied by Cultural Connections)

With more migrants arriving every year, how is New Zealand embracing diversity and integrating with migrants to make this country truly multicultural and inclusive?

A report from MBIE in 2015 titled “Community Perceptions of Migrants and Immigration” shared some positive and negative insights:

  • 81% of those surveyed felt it is a good thing for any society to be made up of people from different races, religions and cultures. This is up from 80% in 2013, and 73% in 2011.

  • Yet, 1 out of 3 surveyed there is lack of migrant integration into New Zealand society.

  • In addition, 76% surveyed felt New Zealand is welcoming to migrants, down from 79% in 2013 and 82% in 2011.

  • And 85% of New Zealanders say they have friends from outside of New Zealand, down from 89% in 2013 and 90% in 2011.

  • Interestingly, the number of New Zealanders attending ethnic cultural festivals increased from 42% in 2011 to 50% in 2013 and 55% in 2015.

However, there is no data and insights about migrants once they arrive into New Zealand. For example, we do not know the challenges that they face, they support they need, or how they integrate with the society. From a corporate side, there is limited data to understand how migrants consider and purchase products and services, drivers for satisfaction or defection, and the holy grail customer loyalty.

It’s one of the reasons why Cultural Connections was started as a social enterprise to illuminate some insights into migrants which makes up 25% of population. Some of our initial insights were:

  • The most common challenge that migrants face is language and communication at 29%, yet only 17% of migrants are aware of the Language Line service offered by The Office of Ethnic Communities

  • 46% of migrants felt unhappy when they first arrive in New Zealand, but that decreases significantly to 14% after settling down over several years.

  • At least once a week, 2 out of 3 migrants will call a family or friend back home, eat at restaurants or buy groceries from home country, and consume media from home country.

  • Surprisingly, only 1 out of 3 migrants send money back home.

  • Instead, more than 2 out of 3 migrants will travel back home or invite family and friends to visit New Zealand at least once a year.

We also asked migrants about some of the basic services from banks and telcos:

  • 1 out of 3 migrants are unhappy with their current main bank, yet only 4% are willing to change their bank, suggesting the difficulty in switching banks.

  • 1 out of 4 migrants are unhappy with their current mobile phone provider, and 10% of them are willing to switch to another provider in the next 12 months.

Ultimately, the goal is to develop a framework together with private and public entities to give migrants the highest possible chance to flourish and be happy in New Zealand.

After all, a happy migrant can only lead to a happy New Zealand.

Current research: Calling all migrant entrepreneurs in New Zealand

Cultural Connections is currently running “Migrant Entrepreneurs in New Zealand” research, an initiative led by Auckland Regional Migrant Services (ARMS) in partnership with Auckland Council, and Immigration New Zealand. The purpose of this research is to help us better understand how migrants start their businesses and the challenges that they face. Migrants are defined as those who are born overseas but currently living in NZ. Results of this research will be published on ARMS and Cultural Connections website in August 2018.

You must be above 18 years old and running your own business in New Zealand to proceed. This survey should take about 10 minutes and you will be automatically entered to win one of:

  • 1 x Fitbit Alta valued at $229.

  • 2 x business clinic appointments with ATEED Business Advisor

  • 3 x Business Growth Strategy sessions with Momentum.

  • 2 x $50 Prezzy Card

  • All participants will also be invited to attend webinars or business workshops organised by BNZ.

More details at

Past research

In the social research “Migrants and Volunteering in New Zealand”, Cultural Connections collaborated with Volunteering New Zealand (VNZ) to understand how new migrants engage with volunteering.

Migrants and Volunteering in NZ Infographic.jpg

What does it mean for migrants?

To learn about the values, way of life in New Zealand, and integrate with local community, consider joining a volunteer organisation. VNZ website has a range of volunteer groups and locations that will suit you. Alternatively, you check out some of the multicultural community groups in Auckland and around New Zealand. (

What does it mean for volunteering organisations?

If you are seeking a specific migrant group for your organisation, then find out what is the best way of reaching them and how to communicate the benefits to them. Use the insights from this research to engage and connect with migrants.

Disclosure - Cultural Connections is owned by Eric Chuah, who is also the co-founder of Multicultural Times.

America Rex - The future of theatre has arrived

America Rex - The future of theatre has arrived