Report predicts that numbers will pass half a million within a decade.

Auckland's Asian population is predicted to pass 500,000 in the next decade, a new report says.

Asian Auckland: The Multiple Meanings of Diversity, commissioned by the Asia New Zealand Foundation, is released today and shows how Asian residents are changing the face of New Zealand's largest city.

Click through to our interactive graphic: Asian Auckland: How our city has changed.

The report examines the history and trends of Asian migration to New Zealand, especially since 2006, as part of a series of reports drawing on the 2013 Census data.


It also provides an insight into Asian "ethnoscapes" in the city, settlement patterns of Asian immigrants around the city and the influence of Asian communities on Auckland's food culture, cultural festivals, the media and the arts.

The Filipino population showed the biggest percentage rise - 144 per cent since 2006, up by 22,014, to 37,299.

But the largest increase was the 24,000 from India, bringing the Indian population to 67,176.

The Asian population is projected to grow at three times the rate of the total population, and reach 790,000 by 2026. About two-thirds of this population, or 525,000, are expected to settle in Auckland.

Immigration expert Paul Spoonley said the Indian population would soon equal the Chinese, and these two "will dominate in terms of immigration flows and community life".

"These will be the two super-sized Asian immigrant communities in a super-diverse city," said the Massey University sociologist.

The report said Asian migrants had moved into areas that previously had relatively small numbers of Asian residents, contributing to "considerable diversification". In 1986, more than nine in 10 on Auckland's North Shore were European/Pakeha and less than 2 per cent were Asian. By 2013, nearly one in four, or 24 per cent, were Asian and the European percentage had fallen to less than 70 per cent.

"The statistics show that a new and fascinating Auckland is emerging, whether it is the ethnic mix of one school or another, the concentrations of particular ethnic communities in suburbs or the appearance of ethnic precincts," said Professor Spoonley. "Auckland feels like a very different city from three decades ago; we should expect 28 to 30 per cent of Aucklanders to identify as a member of Asian communities soon."

More than half of the resident population in Dannemora and Botany Downs were Asian, of which about half was Chinese, a quarter Indian and 15 per cent Korean, the report said.

Report author Wardlow Friesen, a senior lecturer in geography at the University of Auckland, said: "It can be debated whether this constitutes 'segregation' and whether it is a problem. In most world cities migrant groups cluster together for a variety of benefits, including settlement support and access to services and facilities catering to their specific needs."

Normie Yaneza, co-director of Pinoy Mart, a Philippine food and clothes shop in Glenfield, said the concentration of Filipinos in the North Shore suburb was vital to the success of her business. "We depend on Filipino customers, and 95 per cent of our customers are Filipinos."

AUT University Professor of Diversity Edwina Pio said migrants saw NZ as a "safe haven", an egalitarian society with a high quality of life choices and honest Government. "Countries like India, while prospering economically, continue to have the spectre of rape, acid attacks, desecration of minority religious places of worship and extreme inequality."

Lina Cabel, left, and Normie Yaneza sell Filipino items such as clothes, bags and food at their mini-mart in Glenfield. Photo / Nick Reed
Lina Cabel, left, and Normie Yaneza sell Filipino items such as clothes, bags and food at their mini-mart in Glenfield. Photo / Nick Reed

The rise in Indian migration would help to reduce the often negative attitudes about Indian migrants, such as that they were "illiterate, subjugated and low-skilled".

Minister for Ethnic Communities Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga said the report ushered in "an exciting new era".

"From fine food, colourful festivals and the arts, our Asian communities are a welcome addition to our cultural landscape. They bring colour, culture and diversity to our city."

Specialty store taste of home for Glenfield's Filipinos

Filipino speciality food, cultural artefacts and national clothing such as barong tagalog and baro't saya, are all available at a Glenfield mini-mart.

Lina Cabel, 53, took over Pinoy Mart last December and runs the business with two other co-directors.

Ms Cabel said she bought the business because she knew there was a need for a "one-stop-shop" that caters to Filipino migrants.

"Although we live in New Zealand, we still like to have our favourites from our home country and I think that's only natural," Ms Cabel said.

"So we have many Pinoys coming here getting food stuff that they are familiar with, and shop for clothes when they need something to wear for a special occasion so they can identify as Filipino."

Ms Cabel said her store was like a "meeting place" for many in the community.

The largest cluster of Filipino migrants live on the North Shore in and around the suburb of Glenfield, where they make up one in 10 of the population. The report said Glenfield was an area of medium-cost housing.

Co-director Normie Yaneza, 45, said about 95 per cent of the store's customers were Filipinos.

"The business is dependent on Filipino customers, and the reason why we are doing well is because we are located in Glenfield."

Although Filipino migrants have settled more widely in New Zealand than most other Asian groups, about 50 per cent of the Philippines-born population were "usually resident" in the North Shore at the last census.

In the Glenfield-North Shore area, there were more than 2000 Filipino migrants, an increase of about three times from the last census.

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