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Social Framework

New Zealand has a high degree of social and political stability and a modern social welfare system which includes universal entitlement to primary and secondary education and subsidised access to health services for all residents.

The population is mainly European with around 75% of residents designating themselves as being of European descent, 16% as New Zealand Māori, 8% as Pacific Islanders, 12% as Asian and 1% as other. (Note: Census respondents are able to give multiple responses to ethnicity questions, hence the number of responses is greater than the total population.) There is a high incidence of intermarriage among these groups. The majority of Europeans are of British descent, while the New Zealand Māori are of the same ethnic origin as the indigenous populations of Tahiti, Hawaii and several other Pacific Islands. In recent years there has been an increasing level of immigration from Asian countries.

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