Cultural » Strong & Tolerant

People are important. All members of our community are empowered to participate in decision-making and to contribute to society. We celebrate diversity and welcome newcomers, while recognising the special role of tangata whenua.

What is Strong & Tolerant?

Having a population rich in heritage, cultures and languages provides enormous social, cultural and economic benefits.  The arts are important for adding to community strength and identity, and are recognised for enabling communication across a range of different groups within society. Voting is a way that people can participate in decision-making, to be fairly represented and to seek redress for discrimination. 

Strong and tolerant community is made up of 12 indicators that were selected to measure progress towards the strong and tolerant community outcome definition (shown above). Data relating to each individual indicator (for the 2001 to 2017 period) is provided via the menu below. The index that measures change in the strong and tolerant community outcome (pictured below) shows the composite average of the individual indicators.

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Cultural well-being (and strong and tolerant community), 2001-2018

What this means

The strong and tolerant community outcome of the WR-GPI was highest in 2001, it has declined till 2012. The index has shown fluctuating results since. 


Major contributors to the negative trend in the outcome between 2001 and 2012 were declining average voter turnout at local elections, and enrolment in Māori language education (primary and secondary level).  


The overall decline in the strong and tolerant community outcome was partly offset by rising trends amongst the percentage of the population identifying with the Māori, Pacific or Asian ethnic groups and the number of registered heritage places in the region. Student enrolment in Māori language education has increased between 2012 & 2018.

Did you know?

The GPI counts crime, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, natural resource depletion and soil loss, as costs, not gains, to the economy.

12 Indicators are being used to track Strong & Tolerant in the Wellington region

Click on each indicator below to access further information

Download Territorial Authority data for these Indicators

Speakers of te reo Maori

Why is this indicator important?

Te reo Māori was made an official language of New Zealand under the Māori Language Act in 1987 and is one of New Zealand’s three official languages. The Māori Language Commission states that:

“the Māori language is a taonga that gives our country its distinct and unique cultural identity. For Māori to thrive as a language of everyday use, we must encourage its use in our homes and communities as much as possible.”

Percentage of the population that can speak Te Reo Māori, 2001-2018


  • In 2018, 3.5% of respondents in the Wellington region could hold an everyday conversation in the Māori language. This is a small increase from the last census in 2013.
  • From 2001 to 2013 there has been a decline in the percentage of the Wellington region population and the New Zealand population who can speak Te Reo Māori.
  • In each of the years shown, the percentage of the population in the Wellington region who can speak Te Reo Māori was lower than the New Zealand percentage.

Speakers of te reo Maori

Definition and data details

Indicator Definition

The number of people indicating that they can have a conversation about everyday things in the Maori language expressed as a function of the usually resident population.

Data Source

Statistics New Zealand: Census

Last updated September 2020

Data points available from 2001.  Indicators are updated in April and November each year; for those indicators where new data or survey results have become available.

While care has been taken in processing, analysing and extracting information, we cannot guarantee that the information is free from error and we shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of any information, product or service.