100 signatures reached
To: All Pākehā for the current Census.
Write "Pākehā" as your ethnicity in the Census
As there is no option for "Pākehā" in the listed ethnicities in the current Census, go to "Other" and write in "Pākehā".
Why is this important?
When it comes to ethnicity, lots of us think of ourselves as Pākehā, rather than the current option for people like us in this month's Census which is "NZ European". Pākehā is a New Zealand word for a New Zealand ethnicity. The origins of the word Pākehā are not that clear but it has been used since the early 1800s by non-Maori New Zealanders to distinguish themselves from Maori New Zealanders.
According to the Stats NZ website, an ethnic group is made up of people who have some or all of the following:
- a shared culture, such as traditions or ways of doing things, customs, beliefs or language
- a common ancestry or history
- a similar geographic, tribal or clan origin.
Stats NZ says ethnicity is the group that we identify with or feel we belong to. For people like us, "Pākehā" seems to fit the bill far better than NZ European. Of course, if people prefer "NZ European", they will have that option.
There used to be an option "NZ European or Pākehā" in the 1996 Census but it was removed, apparently because some people objected to the word Pākehā in the option (even though it also said NZ European). We want the "Pākehā" option back and will petition Statistics NZ for this but it is too late for them to change this Census. If enough of us write in "Pākehā" in this Census, it will go along way to persuading Stats NZ to offer this option next time, either on its own, "Pākehā", or as part of "NZ European or Pākehā".
How it will be delivered
After this Census we'll be developing a petition to Stats NZ to offer "Pākehā" in the next Census. We hope that a large number of write-ins will persuade them that there are enough of us to warrant either adding back "Pākehā" to "NZ European" or having a separate ethnicity category for "Pākehā".