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Definition

Year of arrival in New Zealand is the year that a respondent who was born outside of New Zealand first arrived in New Zealand as a permanent or long–term resident.

Number of years since arrival in New Zealand is the length of time in completed years (including any intervening absences, whether temporary or long–term) since a respondent who was born outside of New Zealand first arrived to live in New Zealand as a permanent or long–term resident.

Permanent resident, long–term resident, temporary absence, and long–term absence are supporting concepts and are defined in Glossary and references.

Operational issues

A respondent may confuse their first year of arrival in New Zealand as a permanent or long–term resident, with earlier arrival dates as a short–term resident or holiday maker.

Some respondents, especially those who were very young when they arrived, may have difficulty in remembering the date they first arrived to live in New Zealand. Recent immigrants whose first language is not English may have difficulty in comprehending a question on year of arrival/years since arrival in New Zealand.

Some respondents may perceive information on Year of Arrival as sensitive. Respondents who are in New Zealand illegally may not report their year of arrival honestly because they fear deportation. Other respondents may not wish to be associated with waves of migration, such as those before and after the Second World War, or may not wish to be labelled an ‘immigrant’ at all. Data may therefore be incomplete or inaccurate.

Explanatory notes

Scope

Year of arrival/years since arrival in New Zealand is an attribute of the statistical unit ‘person’, and the scope of the variable is all people born outside of New Zealand. Country of birth is a prerequisite input variable because only those people who were born outside of New Zealand should answer a question on year of arrival/years since arrival in New Zealand.

The derived variable

The variable years since arrival in New Zealand can be derived from year of arrival in New Zealand by measuring the time elapsed (in completed years) between first arrival in New Zealand and the data collection.

In the 1996 Census of Population and Dwellings, a question on year of arrival was used to derive a count of the number of years since arrival in New Zealand. At the time this derived variable was termed duration of residence. The variable which can be derived from year of arrival is now termed years since arrival in New Zealand. Duration of residence cannot be derived accurately from year of arrival in New Zealand and is a separate concept discussed below.

Duration of residence

Duration of residence is the length of time in completed years, excluding intervening absences, that a respondent who was born outside of New Zealand has lived in New Zealand as a permanent or long–term resident. Duration of residence in New Zealand cannot be derived from year of arrival as intervening absences cannot be measured.

Historical data

Output tables for 'ears since arrival in New Zealand should be accompanied by an explanatory note indicating that years since arrival in New Zealand is calculated identically to duration of residence in the 1996 Census of Population and Dwellings and is therefore directly comparative.

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