Research team makes the gold standard
24 February 2016
A joint research programme between Waikato and Massey universities and Motu research institute has been awarded a gold rating by its funder, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) – one of just 25 MBIE-funded projects out of 203 to achieve the rating.
CaDDANZ (Capturing the Diversity Dividend of Aotearoa/New Zealand) is tasked with identifying how New Zealand can better prepare for, and respond to, national and regional demographic changes linked to international migration and growing ethnic diversity.
There are 20 themes to be addressed in the six-year project, and at the moment the researchers are working on measuring, forecasting and communicating the ethnic diversity trends.
They also work with stakeholders to develop diversity policies and look at the manifestation of diversity in organisations and in communities, including working with the New Zealand Police, in schools and in city areas where cultural diversity is now seen as “commonplace”.
Professor Jacques Poot from the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA) at the University of Waikato leads the project, working with Waikato researchers Associate Professors Tahu Kukutai and Michael Cameron, Adjunct Professor Dave Maré from Motu, and Drs Alison Day, Matt Roskruge and Lars Brabyn. The Massey team is led by Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley and includes former NIDEA director Professor Natalie Jackson, Associate Professor Robin Peace and Drs Angelique Praat, Junjia Ye, Malakai Koloamatangi, Ben Soltani and Jessica Terruhn.
Waikato’s Dr Alison Day says the research aims to measure, map and analyse the complex societal impacts of diversity and the implications for business, households and communities.
“It’s a big project that covers a wide range of topics and methodologies. The face of New Zealand is changing rapidly,” she says. “We’re looking at incoming migration and the impacts that may have, and also related population changes and movements within New Zealand – including ageing and fertility – and urban-regional disparities.”
She says a significant component will consider the implications of diversity for Māori and how Māori engage with diversity.
The research has only been underway for a year, and Dr Day says it’s great to have their gold rating so early in the programme. The team ran a conference in Wellington in July last year presenting their project to more than 100 delegates from various government agencies, and a number of immigration consultants. At this year’s conference, expected to be held in November, they also plan to bring in experts from North America, Europe and Australia to compare new initiatives in diversity research and policy development.