Stats NZ says race is a biological indicator – but we can choose our ethnicity

While Point of Order was posting news of self-identification being extrended to race in British academic circles, portending a bizarre world in which black can be white and white can be black, Stats NZ was distinguishing between race and ethnicity.

Statistics about ethnicity give information by the ethnic groups that people identify with or feel they belong to, the department explained.

Ethnicity is a measure of cultural affiliation. It is not a measure of race, ancestry, nationality, or citizenship. Ethnicity is self perceived and people can belong to more than one ethnic group.

An ethnic group is made up of people who have some or all of the following characteristics:

    • a common proper name
    • one or more elements of common culture, for example religion, customs, or language
    • unique community of interests, feelings, and actions
    • a shared sense of common origins or ancestry, and
    • a common geographic origin.

Ethnicity should not be confused with other related terms, Stats NZ insists:
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