Welcoming the 1.5 Generation who speak Mandarin and English
The 2010 "State of the Auckland Region" report published by the Auckland Regional Council refers to Auckland as the fastest growing region in Australasia. Between 2001 and 2006 Auckland absorbed half of New Zealand's total population increase of 144,000 people. This means that by 2006, one-third of Auckland's population were born overseas. The reason for this dramatic increase can be directly attributed to changes to the New Zealand immigration policy that were made in 1996. The old system of applicants from preferred countries such as England and Canada being given priority was changed to points being awarded for preferred skills. Subsequent to, and as a direct outcome of these revisions, there have been dramatic changes to the composition of the Auckland population. According to a recent article in The Aucklander, the 2006 census recorded the Chinese population of Auckland as 97,425 residents which is double the number recorded in the 2001 census. According to a 2010 analysis of the census statistics conducted by Spasifik Mag, a new significant contributor to Auckland's population growth is "'natural increase', defined as births minus deaths". Many of the adult immigrants who arrived in the preceding decades were accompanied by their children. It is these immigrant children who are usually referred to as the "1.5 generation" and who are the central focus of this research. Their arrival not only dramatically dropped the average age of Auckland residents but many are now entering their child bearing years and contributing significantly to the population growth by natural increase. The census does not detail the number of residents who would belong to a category like the 1.5 generation and given that they are a highly mobile segment of the population, data will never be exact. However if one takes as a guide the number of people living in New Zealand between 10 and 29 years of age, this portion of the population has increased by more than a third, from 605,061 in the 1996 census to 879,543 in 2006 census. It is clear that Auckland has experienced dramatic changes to its demographic age range and cultural composition. Such information is vital if the Church is to take seriously the Biblical challenge to welcome strangers. How to welcome the sub-group identified as members of the 1.5 generation who speak Mandarin and English is the special focus of this research.
Advisor: Baab, Lynne
Degree Name: Master of Ministry
Degree Discipline: Department of Theology and Religious Studies
Research Type: Dissertation