More New Zealand workers oppose greater ethnic diversity in their workplaces than are for it, a survey has found.

The Leadership, Employment and Direction Survey conducted by Leadership Management Australasia gauged the opinions of workforces in Australia and New Zealand.

Results from the New Zealand respondents, provided to the Herald, found that of 200 workers surveyed, only 27 per cent would like to see their organisation's workforce become more ethnically diverse.

Thirty-three per cent said they would not like it, and 40 per cent were not sure.


Among North Island respondents, 27 per cent were in favour of greater diversity and 37 per cent against.

The New Zealand respondents believed only about 20 per cent cent of employees in their organisations were from non-English speaking backgrounds.

New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils national secretary Alexis LewGor said those who opposed more ethnic diversity might not understand what migrants had to offer.

"Those that have no experience in dealing with migrants, even in a small capacity, are very negative towards them," she said. "Migrants have a lot to give. I think migrants come with a global view on industry, and New Zealand has very small industries."

In her experience, migrants were very loyal employees.

"They need to be given a chance to show they can do it."