Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of the Non-Religious

One statistic that many will find suprising is that there is a positive (if insignificant) correlation between having no religion and median age – this was 0.16. In other words, the average non-religious Kiwi is older than the average religious one.

There are some easy ways to misinterpret this trend so one has to be careful. One common way to misread it is that religion is growing in power again, by somehow having increased its appeal to the youth of today.

The reality is that the most strongly non-religious demographic is the group of Kiwis of European descent, and this group is also significantly older and larger than the other racial demographics.

The correlation between being of European descent and having no religion was 0.69, and because the correlation between being of European descent and median age was 0.72, we can already happily explain the correlation between no religion and median age.

With being Maori there was a positive but not significant correlation with having no religion – this was 0.13. Some might be surprised that this is not higher, as Maoris are not particularly religious compared to most other demographics.

At least part of the reason is that there are many Maori families with high numbers of children, or headed by solo mothers, in the lower sociodemographic groups that affiliate with Mormonism or the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the children in these families will be counted as religious when they may well grow up not to be.

This can be seen if we look at the correlations between having no religion and being in certain age bands. With being aged between 0-4 and having no religion the correlation was -0.22, and with being aged between 5-14 and having no religion the correlation was -0.13. Obviously, children this young have not made the decision to adopt a religion but are simply counted as that of their parents or mother.

Predictably from this, there is a moderately strong correlation between being born in New Zealand and having no religion – this was 0.49.

So it is not surprising, then, that the correlation between being a Pacific Islander and having no religion is a very strong -0.81. This is not quite as strong as the correlation between being born in the Pacific Islands and having no religion: this was -0.86.

This tells us what many already know: that Pacific Island societies are almost entirely religious and that immigrating to New Zealand has the effect – if gradual – of eroding religious conditioning.

The correlation between being Asian and having no religion perfectly mirrored that of being born in New Zealand. Here it was -0.49. Because we can see that the correlation between having no religion and being born in North East Asia is only -0.15, we can guess that the bulk of these religious Asians are Hindus and Muslims from South Asia.

People with no religion were significantly more likely to be born in Britain. The correlation between having no religion and being born in Britain was 0.28.

As has been established in other countries, there is a positive correlation between having no religion and having educational aspirations. The correlation betwen having no religion and having a doctorate was 0.26, and with having an Honours degree it was 0.27. At the other end of the scale, the correlation between having no religion and having no qualification was -0.08.

Working in arts and recreation services was the industry where people are the most likely to not have a religion – the correlation between the two was a strong 0.60. This is probably because this is the industry that requires the most free and unique thought, and that has a negative correlation with religious sentiments.

Other industries working in which had high correlations with being non-religious were construction (0.46), retail trade (0.45), hospitality (0.42) and education and training (0.41).

The simplest way to explain all of these correlations is that they also overlap with being young adults, and the youth (leaving aside the reproduction rates of young solo mothers) are less likely to be religious.

This is not as evident in the numbers as it could be, of course, as has alraedy been explained by immigration patterns. The correlation between having no religion and being in the 15-19 age bracket is 0.02, and with being in the 20-29 age bracket it is 0.01.

These two age brackets correlate positively with being a Pacific Islander, so it’s possible to say that the general Western pattern of people becoming less religious with each passing generation holds true if one looks at Kiwis of European or Maori descent seperately from the confounding factor of recent immigration from a religious culture.

The religious hold true to another stereotype in that they breed at a significantly higher rate than the non-religious. The correlation between having no religion and being in a couple without a child was 0.49, compared to the correlation between having no religion and being in a couple with a child, which was -0.37, or being a solo parent (-0.33).

Perhaps also fitting with the general correlation with youth, the non-religious are significantly less likely to take a private car to work, and like to walk and bike. The correlation with having no religion and taking a private car to work was -0.50, and with walking to work it was 0.37 and with biking to work it was 0.32.

There is a significant correlation between having no religion and belonging to any of the income bands above $40K. The only income band to have a significant negative correlation with having no religion was the loss or no income band: here the correlation was -0.34.

Some might be surprised by the fact that there was a stronger correlation between having no religion and working as a manager (0.49) than there is between having no religion and working as a professional (0.33). The explanation for this might be that relatively more professionals than managers are immigrants and therefore have a nominal adherence to the religion of their ethnic origin.

Finally, the South Island is the godless island: the correlation between living on the South Island and having no religion was a significant 0.29. For the most part this simply reflects the fact that a much higher propertion of South Islanders are New Zealand-born compared to North Islanders.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

Understanding New Zealand: Voting Patterns of Asian New Zealanders

Asians represent the fourth major wave of immigration to New Zealand, and, partially as a consequence, their voting patterns are the least well understood. What makes it especially difficult is that “Asian” covers a very large number of people, many of whom are very distinct from some of the others.

The most striking thing about Asian New Zealanders is their love of the ACT Party. The correlation between being Asian and voting ACT in 2014 was an extremely strong 0.85, which is enough to suggest that most ACT voters are Asians (note that it does not mean most Asians are ACT voters, because the population of Asians is many times higher than the number of ACT voters).

As is described elsewhere, the highly educated class tends to split into a right wing that votes ACT and a left wing that votes Green. If the correlation between voting ACT in 2014 and being Asian is so strong, one could predict that there were fewer educated Asians left to vote Green, and indeed the correlation between voting Green in 2014 and being Asian was 0.00.

Also because of the extremely strong ACT support, one could predict that there was little conservative sentiment left over for supporting the National Party. This is indeed the case – the correlation between being Asian and voting National in 2014 was 0.09. There was even less for the real Conservative Party, voting for which in 2014 had a correlation of -0.07 with being Asian.

The correlation between being Asian and voting Labour, by contrast, was 0.17. Some might be surprised by this, given that there are a large number of Asians attracted to the ACT Party. The explanation is that most of the ACT-voting Asians are from Far East Asia and the many from India, Thailand, Malaysia etc. are more likely to have social democratic sentiments.

Given that Maoris were the first wave of immigrants and Asians the most recent, it’s not really surprising that being Asian had a significant negative correlation with voting for any of the four Maori-heavy parties. Being Asian had a correlation of -0.23 with voting Internet MANA, one of -0.30 with voting Maori Party, one of -0.50 with voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and one of -0.60 with voting New Zealand First.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

South Africa in New Zealand 2017 Test Series Preview

Kagiso Rabada, at only 21 years of age, is considered one of the most likely to play an influential role in this series

The limited overs leg of the 2017 South Africa tour of New Zealand was a close-fought contest that ended in South Africa’s favour. As the limited overs game is New Zealand’s strong suit, that means that the South Africans will take the ascendancy into the three-match Test series beginning tomorrow in Dunedin.

South Africa are ranked No. 3 in the world and the Black Caps No. 5. This might not be a large gap but the market is much more confident of a South Africa win. The Proteas are paying only $2.24 on BetFair to win the First Test, compared to the Black Caps paying $3.70 and the Draw $3.60.

The Black Caps will not fondly recall the disappointment from when these two sides last met in Tests – the two match series in South Africa last August. The First Test was ruined by rain and the Second saw the Black Caps at one stage 4 down for 7 runs before a respectable, if futile, rearguard from Henry Nicholls.

Since then, the Black Caps have demolished both Pakistan and Bangladesh at home. Although South Africa will be tougher than either of those two Asian sides in New Zealand conditions, the Black Caps’ home advantage should make this series more interesting than the previous encounter in South Africa last August.

If one makes the assumption that Tom Latham’s poor recent ODI form will not carry over into the Test arena, then the Black Caps top order looks as solid as it ever has been.

They will have the highest ranked Test batsman on display for either side, in Kane Williamson at 4th. His returns in the past year have been good but mediocre by his high standards and he would like to play a defining innings against the South Africans.

Ross Taylor at 15th and Tom Latham at 26th, with Jeet Raval looking solid in his limited opportunities so far, make it a respectable, if far from intimidating, Black Caps top order.

They will not be favoured to dominate the South African bowling attack, though, even in the absence of Dale Steyn. The 21-year old Kagiso Rabada had barely had time to find his feet but has already risen to 5th in the Test bowling rankings, with two five-wicket hauls in only 14 Tests.

He will likely open the bowling with Vernon Philander, who averages 21.40 with the ball over 40 Tests. In terms of bowling average, at least, it will be easily the most formidable opening bowling pair the Black Caps have faced since their last series against South Africa.

They also have Morne Morkel, whose height and bounce pose a threat that New Zealand batsmen rarely face, and an almost total unknown in left-arm orthodox Keshav Maharaj.

The Black Caps have no real bowling spearheads but are capable of sustained pressure. Neil Wagner, Trent Boult and Tim Southee occupy positions 11 to 13 on the Test bowling rankings table.

These three bowlers have proven themselves capable of hunting as a pack, and the variety of Wagner’s left-arm bouncer barrage, Boult’s left-arm swing and Southee’s right-arm seam should make it difficult for the South African batsmen to settle. It will also be interesting to see if Mitchell Santner can usefully transfer his tight ODI bowling into the Test arena.

The South African Test batting unit might not be as terrifying as it is in ODIs but it still poses a threat. They do not have AB de Villiers for this series but both of Hashim Amla and Quentin de Kock are ranked in the top 10 and either could play a matchwinning knock.

The Black Caps bowlers will back their bowling plans against the other batsmen like Faf du Plessis, Stephen Cook, Dean Elgar, JP Duminy and Temba Bavuma. None of the batsmen in South Africa’s second tier pose a particular threat but all are very good players. Even if the Black Caps pick up a string of wickets somewhere they will always have to work hard to get the rest.

A heavyweight South Africa side without their best two players and playing in foreign conditions over three Tests against a middle-of-the-pack Black Caps side hungry to make the top tier promises to be highly competitive cricket. This column is guessing the most likely outcome to be a two-one win to South Africa or a one-all draw.

Understanding New Zealand: Voting Patterns of the Non-Christian Religious

The voting patterns of the non-Christian religious in New Zealand reflected that many of them were immigrants

The Parliamentary Profiles contain information on all manner of religions. Even though India and China are much closer to the New Zealand than the Middle East is, the Middle Eastern religions have a much higher profile here than the Oriental ones.

The vast majority of Kiwi Buddhists are Asians, despite the number of Kiwis of European descent that the reader may have met claiming to be Buddhists. Being a Buddhist in New Zealand has an extremely strong correlation, of 0.87, with being born in North East Asia.

This third factor of being Asian explains why Buddhists love the ACT Party. Being Buddhist has a correlation of 0.85 with voting for ACT in 2014, although there is nothing obvious in Buddhist doctrine that would lead a person towards supporting the ACT Party.

Probably also because of the third factor of being Asian and an immigrant, there was a correlation of -0.66 between being Buddhist and voting for New Zealand First.

Of the other three major parties, Buddhists are indifferent. None of the correlations between being Buddhist and voting National in 2014 (0.15), voting Labour in 2014 (0.08) and voting Green in 2014 (0.12) were significant. This might suggest that Buddhist immigrants to New Zealand have generally peacefully integrated.

There were significant negative correlations between being Buddhist and voting for the other three Maori-heavy parties. With voting Internet MANA in 2014 it was -0.26, with voting Maori Party in 2014 it was -0.33 and with voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party it was -0.52.

Perhaps most fittingly, Buddhists were perfectly indifferent to the idea of voting in general – the correlation between being Buddhist and turnout rate in 2014 was 0.00.

Hindus followed the general pattern of demographic groups that have a high proportion of immigrants voting ACT out of a lack of solidarity with other Kiwis – the correlation between being Hindu and voting ACT was 0.50.

This absence of solidarity is not something that we can say is a general rule for all Hindus – the correlation between being Hindu and voting Labour in 2014 was 0.47. This might reflect that many Hindus are from Fiji and therefore will be attracted to Labour in the same way that other Pacific Islanders are.

Probably reflecting that many of them are immigrants, there were significant negative correlations between being Hindu and voting for three of the four Maori-heavy parties in 2014.

With voting for New Zealand First it was -0.40, with voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party it was -0.40, and with voting for the Maori Party it was -0.24. Only for voting Internet MANA in 2014 was the correlation with being Hindu not significant – and it was still -0.19.

If the Hindu left likes Labour and the Hindu right likes ACT, we can predict two things: a negative correlation with being Hindu and voting both Green and National in 2014. Indeed, the correlation for the former is -0.09 and for the latter it is -0.13.

Perhaps reflecting a minor degree of disenfranchisement, there is a negative but not significant correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and being Hindu: this was -0.17.

Muslims were very similar to Hindus on most counts, probably reflecting the third factor of a shared South Asian origin. The correlation between being Muslim and voting for a particular political party was identical to the Hindu one in the case of both voting ACT (0.50) and voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (-0.40). In the case of the others it was very similar.

It was more positive in the case of Labour (0.51), Green (-0.05), Maori Party (-0.23) and Internet MANA (-0.16). It was more negative in the case of National (-0.17), Conservative (-0.16) and New Zealand First (-0.46).

Taken together, this group of correlations suggest that Muslims are generally in the same voting bloc as Hindus, but they have slightly more leftist sympathies. The correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and being Muslim (-0.21) is also slightly more strongly negative than the correlation with being Hindu. This may reflect that Pakistan is a considerably less wealthy nation than India.

The voting patterns of Jews reflected two things: that they are generally in high socioeconomic categories and that they have very, very little nationalist sentiment towards New Zealand. These factors are reflected in the correlations between being Jewish and voting Green, ACT or New Zealand First.

Like other highly-educated demographics, Jews appear to eschew the everyday Labour-National paradigm. The correlation between voting Green in 2014 and being Jewish was 0.43, and the correlation between voting ACT in 2014 and being Jewish was 0.42. These two correlations reflect that there is also a moderate positive correlation between being Jewish and being born overseas.

Being Jewish was negatively correlated with voting for any of the parties that traditionally appeal to less educated people. The correlation with being Jewish and voting Labour in 2014 was -0.25, and with voting Conservative in 2014 it was -0.15.

If globalist sentiments are so widespread among Jews, then it comes as little surprise that being Jewish is negatively correlated with the four Maori-heavy parties, and especially so for New Zealand First, voting for which in 2014 had a correlation of -0.57 with being Jewish. For voting Internet MANA it was -0.15, for voting Maori Party it was -0.18 and for voting Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party it was -0.31.

Reflecting a low degree of disenfranchisement, mostly on account of that many Jews are highly educated and work as professionals, there was a correlation of 0.30 between being Jewish and turnout rate in 2014.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

Understanding New Zealand: Voting Patterns of Education

To some extent, a person will become educated to the degree that they are a part of society. Engagement with society in one regard generally predicts engagement with society in another.

This can help explain why there is a significant negative correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and having no qualifications (-0.28) and a significant positive correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and having an Honours degree (0.25) and having a doctorate (0.27).

Some might be surprised that this correlation is not even stronger, and in truth it probably should be. This is discussed at length in the article ‘Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Education’.

One might make the assumption that, because having a higher education is correlated with a high turnout rate, and because voting National is correlated with having a high turnout rate, that having a higher education must also be correlated with voting National.

This is not an accurate assumption. There is a positive correlation between having a Bachelor’s degree and voting National in 2014, although this is a barely significant 0.25. Holding none of the three higher degrees had a positive correlation with voting National in 2014.

The weak positive correlation between being highly educated and voting National in 2014 was mirrored in the weak negative correlation between being highly educated and voting Labour in 2014. This was only significant for having an Honour’s degree and voting Labour in 2014, which was -0.28. For the other degrees it was negative but not statistically significant.

The university educated especially love to vote for the Green Party. The correlation between voting Green in 2014 and having a degree was 0.57 for a Bachelor’s, 0.75 for a Honours, 0.64 for a Master’s and 0.67 for a doctorate. These were easily the strongest positive correlations for any party.

The only party even vaguely comparable on this front was ACT. Voting ACT in 2014 had a correlation of 0.65 with having a Bachelor’s degree, which was even higher than the correlation between voting Green and having a Bachelor’s. The correlations with having one of the three higher degrees were, however, lower with voting ACT in 2014 than voting Green in 2014: 0.40 for an Honours, 0.57 for a Master’s and 0.30 for a doctorate.

These two parties were balanced by New Zealand First, voting for which had easily the strongest negative correlations with having a degree. Voting for New Zealand First in 2014 had a correlation of -0.76 with having a Bachelor’s degree, -0.72 with having an Honours degree, -0.76 with having a Master’s degree and 0.63 with having a doctorate.

The reason for this is that New Zealand First draws much of its support from pensioners and Maoris, the former having few higher degrees because of limited educational opportunity when they were young and the latter having few degrees on account of various socioeconomic disadvantages and cultural disincentives.

Voting Conservative in 2014 was not significantly correlated with having any of the degrees. In fact, all four correlations were bordering on significantly negative. This suggests that the Conservative Party targets the same kind of poorly educated, paranoid and aggressive religious fanatic that the American Republican Party does.

Although voting for the Maori Party in 2014 was significantly negatively correlated with having any degree, voting for Internet MANA was only significantly negatively correlated with having an Honours degree, whereas the correlations for the other three were, although negative, not significant.

This probably reflects the fact that Internet MANA appealed to a slightly broader cross-section of New Zealanders than the Maori Party, and hence to several demographics that are better educated than the Maori one.

This was also true of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, voting for which in 2014 also had significant negative correlations with holding any of the four degrees. With having a Bachelor’s it was -0.46, with having an Honours degree it was -0.42, with having a Master’s degree it was -0.46, and with having a doctorate it was -0.38.

Predictably, these figures were all, for the most part, mirrored in the other direction. Namely, all the voting patterns of people with very low qualifications or none at all were the opposites of the patterns of people with high qualifications.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Age


Some might be surprised by how much those aged from 30 to 49 dominate the bulk of the income earning in New Zealand. The correlation between being in this age group and median personal income was 0.73.

The correlation between being in the 50 to 64 age group and median personal income was almost, but not quite, significant, at 0.18. Some might find this surprising given that people in this age bracket tend to comprise the bulk of the senior positions in industry and government.

The reason for it is that there are very few such people, and the majority of the people in this age bracket reflect the educational standards of half a century ago, which were considerably lower.

The main reason why the bulk of the wealth is in the 30 to 49 age bracket is that this is also where the bulk of the education is. Being in this age bracket has a correlation of 0.60 with having a Master’s degree.

Most people are well aware that the bulk of old Kiwis are of European descent. And so, the correlation between being of European descent and being in the 65+ age bracket is 0.67, and with being in the 50-64 age bracket it is 0.71.

There are still many people of European descent in the younger age brackets, but the proportion of Maoris in these brackets is relatively much higher. The correlation between being Maori and being in the 0-4 age bracket is a very strong 0.82. For being in the 5-14 age bracket it is even stronger, at 0.85.

Pacific Islander Kiwis have positive correlations with all of the young age brackets, but they are only significant with the youngest two. Being a Pacific Islander and being aged 0-4 had a correlation of 0.44, and with being aged 5-14 it was 0.27.

The age of Asians reflect the strong correlation between being Asian and being foreign born, which was an extremely strong 0.91. Because so many Asian New Zealanders are foreign born, they will have had to have gone through the immigration system, which puts a high priority on young people who can work and pay taxes for a long time.

And so, there is a correlation of 0.49 between being aged 20-29 and being Asian, as well as a correlation of 0.57 between being aged 30-49 and being Asian.

One could surmise from the above that there is a significant correlation between being born overseas and being in the 20-29 age bracket (0.38) and being in the 30-49 age bracket (0.61). This reflects the fact that our points-based immigration system prioritises letting in those who have a large number of productive years ahead of them.

Some industries are well-known for being filled with people of a certain age group. Few readers will be surprised that there is a correlation of 0.51 with being aged 20-29 and working in the hospitality industry. There is also a predictable correlation of 0.37 between being aged 20-29 and working as a sales worker.

Some might be surprised at some of the correlations between age and income. There is a correlation of 0.25 with having an income of $150K+ and being aged in the 20-29 age bracket, and a a correlation of 0.24 with having an income of $100-150K and being in that age bracket.

The reason for this may be clear to anyone who has read the education chapter already. Young adults are often very well educated because of the liberalisation of access to higher education, and correspondingly there is a correlation of 0.53 with being aged 20-29 and being a professional. This is only marginally lower that the correlation of 0.55 with being aged 30-49 and being a professional, despite the much larger number of people in the latter group.

Those in the 30-49 age bracket, however, make up the vast bulk of Kiwi economic activity. This age bracket has a significant positive correlation for every income band above $50K. The most notable was a correlation of 0.60 between this age bracket and the $100-150K income band.

On the subject of the 20-29 age bracket, there was also a significant correlation between this and being in the two lowest income bands. Being aged 20-29 had a correlation of 0.57 with having an income between $0-5K, and a correlation of 0.47 with having an income between $5-10K.

The 30-49 age bracket, by contrast, has a significiant negative correlation with being in both of those income bands. Here it is -0.27 with being in the $0-5K income band and -0.42 with being in the $5-10K band.

As Kiwis get older than this, there are fewer who have extremely high incomes and fewer who have extremely low incomes. The bulk are in the comfortable middle zone. This may be because previous generations were more egalitarian in their outlook

It can be seen when our culture generally started to go off the idea of smoking cigarettes – it was in the mid 1980s. We know this because the 30-49 age bracket has a correlation of 0.58 with having never smoked, which stands in stark contrast with the figure for the 50-64 age bracket, which was -0.02.

People don’t seem to mind walking to work in their twenties. The correlation between walking to work and being aged 20-29 was 0.68. The next age bracket – people between 30 and 49 – had a correlation with walking to work of -0.02, which was much, much lower. This will reflect both increasing physical difficulty, naturally increasing laziness, an increase in the means to maintain a private vehicle and an increase in the desire to keep up the appearance of a certain social status.

Older people were significantly more likely to be South Islanders. Being in the 50-64 age bracket had a correlation of 0.33 with being in the South Island, and the 65+ age bracket had one of 0.27 with living there.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

Understanding New Zealand: Voting Patterns of Pacific Islanders

Many people, especially foreigners, tend to blithely assume that Maoris are more or less the same as Pacific Islanders, and could perhaps be placed in the same demographic category. Leaving aside the fact that both Maoris and Pacific Islanders would mostly object to this, there are statistical differences between the two groups that make them distinct.

The most notable thing about the Pacific Islander population is their love of the Labour Party. The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting Labour in 2014 was a very strong 0.78. For the most part, this simply reflects the degree to which Pacific Islanders in New Zealand tend to be working class.

The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and median personal income was -0.29, which is enough to suggest that the majority of them have an interest in voting for a left of centre party. There is also the correlation of 0.50 between being a Pacific Islander and working in the transport, postal and warehousing industries.

Predictably, then, there is a negative correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting National, and this was -0.46. It’s worth noting that the Maori antipathy towards National was as strong as the Pacific Islander love of Labour, whereas the Maori love of Labour and Pacific Islander antipathy towards National were not as strong.

Perhaps reflecting the significant correlation between being a Pacific Islander and being born overseas (0.38), there is no significant correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting New Zealand First in 2014 – this was -0.08.

Some believe that the Greens, in so far as they are a leftist party, get votes from socially disadvantaged people, but Pacific Islanders don’t see much in Green Party rhetoric to attract them. The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting Greens in 2014 was -0.27. Given that Pacific Islanders are not as socially disadvantaged as Maori, they might be the obvious next propaganda target for the Greens.

The votes for other parties reflected the dominance of Labour in the political minds of Pacific Islanders. They did not at all follow Maoris into voting for Internet MANA or the Maori Party – the correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting Internet MANA in 2014 was 0.07, and for voting Maori Party in 2014 it was 0.01.

Neither were Pacific Islanders particularly interested in the far right of the spectrum. The correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting ACT in 2014 was 0.06, which was not significant, and even this probably reflects the fact that ACT voters and Pacific Islanders both mostly live in Auckland more than it reflects any genuine ACT support among them.

Given the preponderance of religion and religious fundamentalism among Pacific Islanders in New Zealand, some might be surprised that the correlation between being a Pacific Islander and voting Conservative in 2014 was a significantly negative -0.29. However, the bulk of the Conservative Party vote was from the Anglican-Presbytarian-Baptist-Brethren axis and Pacific Islanders seldom belong to these movements.

Probably the largest difference in terms of magnitude for any one political party was with the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, voting for which in 2014 had a correlation of -0.10 with being a Pacific Islander, in contrast with 0.89 with being Maori. Possibly reflecting the Christian fundamentalist influence still, Pacific Islanders are vastly different to Maori when it comes to attitudes towards cannabis.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

Understanding New Zealand: Demographics of Christians

The Abrahamist tradition of Christianity has come to New Zealand in several waves, each one contributing to the replacement of traditional Maori spiritual practice, most of which has now been forgotten. But just who are the numerous followers of this Middle Eastern cult in New Zealand?

The statistic that will surprise many people is that there is no significant correlation between being of European descent and being Christian in New Zealand – this was -0.07. There are several reasons for this.

The most obvious is that, when people in New Zealand think ‘Christian’, they usually, without realising it, think ‘Anglican’ or, especially on the South Island, ‘Presbytarian’. The correlation between being Anglican and being of European descent is a strong 0.60, and that between being Presbytarian and being of European descent is 0.40.

Christians are much more likely to be Pacific Islanders than they are either Maoris or Asians. The correlation between being a Christian and being a Pacific Islander is 0.46, compared to -0.37 for being Maori and 0.03 for being Asian. Predictably, given all of these statistics, there is a significant negative correlation between being born in New Zealand and being Christian (-0.24).

Old New Zealand and New New Zealand divide sharply in attitudes towards Catholicism. There is a correlation of -0.27 between being of European descent and being a Catholic, and a correlation of -0.28 with being Maori and being Catholic. This contrasts with the correlation of 0.40 between being a Pacific Islander and being Catholic and the correlation of 0.42 with being Asian and being Catholic.

The obvious explanation for this is the strong negative correlation between being Catholic and having been born in New Zealand, which was -0.41.

Attitudes towards Mormonism, on the other hand, divide European New Zealanders from the others. Kiwis of European descent are highly unlikely to be Mormons: the correlation between the two is -0.71. Asians are mostly indifferent, with a correlation of 0.07, but Mormons are very likely to be Maori (the correlation between the two is 0.54) and even more likely to be Pacific Islanders (the correlation there is 0.68).

The reason for this is Mormons are generally quite hard done by. The correlation between being Mormon and median personal income is -0.46. Likewise, being a Mormon is negatively correlated with having any of the four university degrees. This reflects a deliberate strategy on the part of the Mormon church to target vulnerable people with their propaganda, knowing that the more desperate someone is the more likely they are to fall prey to a religion.

It could be predicted from the above that Anglicans and Presbytarians are signficantly more likely to be old. And they are – the correlation between median age and being Anglican is 0.56, and between median age and being Presbytarian it is 0.43.

Being Christian had a significant negative correlation with having a university degree, and looking closer at this shows a few distinctions. Being Catholic was positively correlated with having a Bachelor’s degree (0.37), with having an Honours degree (0.31) and with having a Master’s degree (0.37), which went against the general trend.

It was the mystery category of ‘Christian not further defined’ that caused the overall correlations between being Christian and having a university degree to be negative. Being ‘Christian not further defined’ had a correlation of -0.24 with having a Bachelor’s degree, -0.37 with having an Honours degree, -0.26 with having a Master’s degree and -0.39 with having a doctorate.

For both Maoris and Pacific Islanders, the correlation between being in this category was greater than it was for people of European descent or Asians. So this category may contain the various Christians that have not been raised in a particular subreligion (such as Anglicanism), i.e. adult converts, who as a rule have it worse than adults who follow the religion they were raised into.

Working in no industry had a positive correlation with being Christian, but many had negative correlations. The strongest was between being Christian and working in the arts and recreation services. This was a very strong -0.63. Perhaps the reason for this is that people who work in arts are iconoclastic by their very nature, as most creative people are, and therefore reject religious tradition.

There was also a strong negative correlation between being Christian and working in administrative and support services (-0.52), accommodation (-0.49), education and training (-0.48) and information media and telecommunications (-0.40). The most likely explanation for at least some of these is that Christians tend to be much older than the average worker in these industries.

There is also a significant negative correlation between being a Christian and being a professional (-0.42), reflecting the generally poor academic achievements of Christians.

Perhaps reflecting a general middle-of-the-road conservatism, being Christian had a negative correlation with being in all of the income bands below $15K and all of the bands above $50K. This was not the case for Catholics, who had a correlation of 0.30 with being in the $100-150K income band and a correlation of 0.24 with being in the $150K+ band.

Reflecting a combination of age, seniority and political dominance, there was a significant correlation between being Anglican and being a manager – this was 0.44.

The point about political dominance and disenfranchisement is underlined by the significant positive correlations between turnout rate in 2014 and being Anglican (0.41) and between turnout rate in 2014 and being Presbytarian (0.32). Contrast this with the very strong -0.68 between turnout rate in 2014 and being Mormon.

Presbytarians are very strong on the South Island, refecting the strong Scottish influence there. The correlation between being a Presbytarian and being a South Islander is 0.56.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.

South Africa in New Zealand 2017 Limited Overs Series Preview

The theme of revenge for South Africa’s 2015 Cricket World Cup semifinal loss to the Black Caps has been well established. The Proteas came to Auckland with every reason to think they had what it took to seize a place in the World Cup final, but were denied at the last moment.

The Limited Overs leg of this year’s tour begins tomorrow and involves six matches. For South Africa there might be something of the 2015 World Cup about it, as the final match is, once again, at Eden Park.

The leg begins with a T20, also at Eden Park. Much of the interest in the T20 revolves about the late call-up of prodigious Auckland talent Glenn Phillips, who is replacing the injured Martin Guptill.

The 20-year old Phillips is already being talked about as a talent on the order of Kane Williamson and Tom Latham. In last year’s Super Smash he scored 369 runs at an average of 46 and a strike rate of 143, including one century scored at a strike rate of 200.

That is the sort of hitting the Black Caps will need at the top if they are to find an adequate replacement for Guptill. In limited overs matches the Black Caps know that if Guptill goes big, they win, because his striking ability is unmatched.

New Zealand sit comfortably on top of the current world T20I rankings, with South Africa at fourth. It’s almost exactly the other way around in the ODIs, with South Africa ranked at the top and the Black Caps third.

Despite that, the Black Caps are currently paying $2.34 on BetFair to win the T20, so there appears to be some value there.

The South African batting features four of the top ranked seven batsmen in the world at the moment, in AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla and Quentin de Kock. With any four of those players capable of a matchwinning innings, that makes the Proteas top order arguably the strongest ODI top order that has ever come to these shores.

The Black Caps, for their part, have a diverse and highly skilled array of artillery to break through this. But barring Trent Boult, who is currently ranked the No. 2 ODI bowler, none of them can rightly be said to be at the same skill level as the South African batting lineup.

Although there is much to choose from out of Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Mitchell McClenaghan and Adam Milne (the latter two returning from injury), none of those names pose the known and established threat that Boult does.

Probably the Black Caps will pick Trent Boult, one of the two speedsters (likely to be Ferguson who is in the squad ahead of Milne) and the other spot will be decided by who is best for the conditions out of Henry and Southee.

Ish Sodhi will also be back in case the Black Caps decide to try and strangle the South Africans with the spin of Sodhi, Mitchell Santner and perhaps even Williamson. If the seamers end up getting dominated by the superb Proteas batsmen, expect a wholesale shift to Plan B: strangle by spin.

The South African bowling unit would generally back itself to defend the large totals their batsmen would expect to put up. They have the No. 1 ranked ODI bowler in Imran Tahir, and the ever-more impressive Kagiso Rabada, who is ranked equal with Matt Henry at 7.

Rabada ought to find New Zealand pitches to his liking, with his Courtney Walsh-style action a test of any batsman’s technique. Chris Morris might be hard to get away but Wayne Parnell, JP Duminy and Andile Phehlukwayo will not be names the Black Caps batsmen are afraid of.

Dean Brownlie scored an excellent 63 in the Black Caps’ Hadlee-Chappell winning effort in their last ODI against Australia, and he has been selected to open in place of Guptill for the first two ODIs (Guptill is expected to be fit for the third).

The rest of the Black Caps top order looks very strong, with Latham, Williamson and Ross Taylor making up the remainder. With Luke Ronchi back in the ODI squad there is plenty of middle order hitting power as well.

Expect a high-scoring series in stark contrast to the recent Hadlee-Chappell, as both South Africa and the Black Caps have considerably stronger batting lineups than they do bowling attacks. It is, however, likely to be close, with a 3-2 win to the Proteas probably the slight favourite over a 3-2 to the Black Caps.

Understanding New Zealand: Maori Party Voters

The Maori Party is a bit of a misnomer. Sure, they represent Maori, but not all Maori – only some. Let’s get the obvious one out of the way: the correlation between voting Maori Party in 2014 and being of Maori descent is an extremely strong 0.91. The correlation between voting Maori Party in 2014 and being a Pacific Islander was a not significant 0.01, and the other two correlations, with being European and being Asian, were both significantly negative at -0.35 and -0.30 respectively.

What may seem incredible if you look at Parliament, but not surprising if you knew about Kiwis, is the size of the negative correlation between voting National in 2014 and voting Maori Party in 2014: this is -0.75. That is enough to suggest that the average Maori Party voter has very, very little in common with the average National voter, even though the Maori Party supports National in Parliament.

With no other party was there as large a negative correlation with voting Maori Party in 2014. Voting Maori Party had a correlation of -0.64 with voting Conservative, and -0.29 with voting ACT. Imagining some kind of blend of National, Conservative and ACT voters can give us an idea of what an anti-Maori would be like if one existed.

Maori Party voters were indifferent to the Greens. Voting Maori Party in 2014 had a correlation of 0.02 with voting Green in 2014. They do, however, seem to like the other strongly pro-Maori parties. Voting Maori Party in 2014 had a correlation of 0.41 with voting Labour and a correlation of 0.46 with voting New Zealand First.

The strongest correlations with voting for the Maori Party were with Internet MANA (0.84) and the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (0.85). Those two correlations may give a clue as to the sense of betrayal that many hard done by Maori will be feeling at the actions of the Maori Party MPs elected to Parliament, who raised tobacco taxes and did nothing about cannabis prohibition.

There is a fairly big difference between some correlations that the reader may have expected to be close to equal. One set of them relates to the strength of the correlation between being educated and being Maori and between being educated and voting Maori Party.

The correlation between being Maori and having a Bachelor’s degree is -0.45, but the correlation between voting Maori Party in 2014 and having a Bachelor’s degree is only -0.28. There was a similar pattern for all of the postgraduate degrees.

For being Maori and having an Honour’s degree the correlation was -0.46, but for voting Maori Party in 2014 and having an Honour’s degree it was only -0.29. For being Maori and having a Master’s degree the correlation was -0.45, but for voting Maori Party in 2014 and having a Master’s degree it was -0.28. And for being Maori and having a doctorate was -0.41, but for voting Maori Party in 2014 and having a doctorate it was 0.27.

A similar pattern repeats itself if we look at correlations with income bands. The $60-70K income band is perfectly even, in that the correlations between being in this band and being either Maori or voting Maori Party are both exactly 0.00.

For all of the income bands below this, the correlation with being Maori was more strongly positive than it was for voting Maori Party in 2014, but the opposite was true of the three income bands above this one.

A similar pattern repeats if one examines the difference when it comes to claiming benefits. The correlation between being on the unemployment benefit and voting Maori Party in 2014 is 0.79, but the correlation between being on the unemployment benefit and being Maori is 0.91. Similarly, the correlation between being on the invalid’s benefit and voting Maori Party in 2014 is 0.59, but the correlation between being on the invalid’s benefit and being Maori is 0.77.

One difference, and one major clue as to how Maori Party voters differ from general Maori, is that the correlation between being on a student allowance and voting Maori Party in 2014 (0.26) is stronger than the correlation between being on a student allowance and being Maori (0.20). This tells us that the average Maori Party voter is generally more driven and aspirational than the average Maori.

A general picture emerges of Maori Party voters being significantly better off than the average Maori person. This cannot be explained by turnout alone. The correlation between turnout rate in 2014 and being Maori is -0.75, and with between turnout rate in 2014 and voting Maori Party in 2014 it is -0.74. So there is no significant difference there.

This is supported by general measures of health and well-being. The correlation between having never smoked tobacco and voting Maori Party in 2014 (-0.55) is weaker than the correlation between having never smoked tobacco and being Maori (-0.73). In a similar vein, the correlation between being a solo parent and voting Maori Party in 2014 (0.66) was not as strong as the correlation between being a solo parent and being Maori (0.79).

There are several potential implications of this. One of the most notable is that, if Maori Party voters are actually significantly wealthier than the average Maori, a partnership with National as not as odd as it might otherwise appear.

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This article is an excerpt from Understanding New Zealand, by Dan McGlashan, published by VJM Publishing in the winter of 2017.