The population conference

Max Bradford Immigration

The population conference .. taking a hard look at who we are as New Zealanders and where we are going as a country.

The first time New Zealanders have set out to discuss the economic, social and international issues relating to population change and immigration.

A wide range of participants and top-quality speakers will gather for the first conference to be held in the new Museum of New Zealand.

This is an opportunity to explore the relationship between population change and immigration and the impacts on education, social structures and business growth.



5.30 - 8.30pm
Conference Registration

6.00pm - Special Function
Hosted by the Prime Minister and the New
Zealand Government.

6.00pm - Introduction to the Conference
A welcome to Te Papa
Tongarewa, a special preview of the museum followed by refreshments and nibbles.

7.30pm - The Networking Market Place.


Opening Address: Prime Minister

Plenary: New Zealand's Current and Future Population

Speaker: Len Cook An overview of current and future
trends in population size, structure and dynamics to assist Conference
participants to contribute to the Conference objectives of understanding the
implications of population issues for achieving New Zealand's strategic economic
and social objectives.

Plenary: International Perspective on Demographic and Economic Impacts of

Speaker: Dr James Smith Providing a sound context for
considering population and immigration issues, Dr Smith will draw on the most
recent international research findings of the demographic and economic impacts
of immigration considered in the wider context of population dynamics.

Noon - Lunch

Plenary: Population Change and the Role of Immigration
Prof. Ian Pool and Prof. Richard Bedford
Providing a link within the
conference programme between the demographic information about population
dynamics, and the requirements of policy and decision makers. This session
explore a number of important population issues for New Zealand.

Plenary: Population Change, Education, Skills and Growth
Speaker: Paula Rebstock An overview of the relationships between population change and labour market growth, education and skill development and urban expansion. The implications for economic growth, enterprise, innovation including economic and social participation will be considered.

Panel Discussions

Choose one only (See Content details for Session 1 on Page 7)

  • 1A Population Change and the Labour Market
  • 1B Population Change, Education and Skill Development and Growth
  • 1C The Successful Settlement of Migrants and Relevant Factors for Setting Immigration Targets


The Conference Dinner (Optional)
Pre-dinner drinks, gala dinner and entertainment


8.30am - Review and Preview

Address: Deputy Prime Minister Introduction and comments on the previous day

Plenary: Population Change and Economic and Social Participation

An overview of how New Zealand's communities and its society may change over the forthcoming generation and beyond, may including: the implications of this for social and economic participation.

Panel Discussions

Choose one only (See Content details for Session 2 on Page 7)

  • 2A Population Change and Social Services
  • 2B Population Change and Urban Expansion and Infrastructure
  • 2C Population Change, National Identity, Ethnic Diversity and Cultural Development
  • 2D Population Change and Conservation, Environment and Recreation

Noon - Lunch

Plenary: Population Change and Economic Growth and Development
Speaker: Sir Tipene O'Regan An overview of the links between population change, economic growth, business and Maori development looking at the implications of population change for economic growth and development, Maori development and international linkages.

Panel Discussions

Choose one only (See Content details for Session 3 on Page 8)

  • 3A Population Change and Maori Development
  • 3B Population Change and the Business Sector
  • 3C Population Change and International Linkages

Summing Up

Closing Address: Minister of Immigration


On Wednesday evening, we gather in a social and sociable way to launch this
conference, the first New Zealand Population Conference.

We will take the opportunity to be shown the magnificent new museum of New
Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, a place rich in our history and culture.

The network market place will be a special and relaxed opportunity for people
to informally gather in groups and make contact with others from around the
country sharing similar interests as your own.

Discussion tables with signs announcing interest and discussion areas will
sprout up all over the "piazza" as ethnic, industry, issue, sector and social
groups meet up and discuss the next days issues.


Expanded detail
Panel discussions will need to be
limited in numbers of around 120 people and will therefore have to be available
on a "first registered with full payment, first served" basis. The calibre of
the speakers will make the choice of panel discussions difficult and some of the
panel discussions will fill very quickly.

You have the opportunity to select from at least three panel discussions per
session; mark your panel discussion selections in order of preference (1st
choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice) clearly on the registration form. You will be
able to attend only one panel discussion per session. If your first choice of
panel discussion is over booked your second (or third) choice will, where
possible, be allocated. Every effort will be made to meet your first choice of
panel discussion, we will advise you of this with your receipt in October.


Foreword from the Prime Minister

Anybody of my generation can not help but notice that the composition
of the New Zealand population has changed dramatically in recent times. When I
was growing up, the Pacific Islands were a million miles away and Asia was even
further. Some of our parents and grandparents would weave stories about the
"old" countries of Europe, but distance, time and expense ruled out an
opportunity for a return visit for most New Zealanders.

Over the past two decades, the make up of our population has changed
significantly. Auckland is the largest Pacific Island city in the world; we have
more people settling in New Zealand than ever before from places other than the
traditional countries of the Northern Hemisphere; and the drift of Maori from
rural to urban settings has added greatly to the diversity of our towns and

Conversely, young and old New Zealanders alike are travelling more often and
further, experiencing the richness of other places and cultures. They bring some
of these experiences home with them, and in doing so, alter who we are and how
we interact with each other and the world outside.

It is an accident of history that we live in a society rich in cultural
diversity. We are not a simple "transplant" of any one society, but a vibrant
and colourful mix of Europeans, Maori, Pacific Islanders and Asians. This makes
us a strong and unique country. However, it also means we must understand how
the ever-changing and dynamic nature of our population will impact on economic,
social and international issues now and in the future.

This is what this conference is all about. It is an opportunity to gain some
insight and understanding, from a talented group of speakers and attendees, into
the relationship between population change, including immigration, and the
evolving New Zealand society.

It is my hope that in this new political era of co-operation The Population
Conference will deliver to the Government, and the people of New Zealand, a more
complete understanding of the pressures that shape our society and how we might
respond to these.

I wish the conference well and I look forward to reading the results of your

Hon Max Bradford, Minister of Immigration

The Population Conference will take a hard look at who we
are as New Zealanders and where we are going as a country.

The Population Conference on November 13 and 14 will be the first time New
Zealanders have set out, armed with the latest research and facts about current
and future demographics, to discuss the economic, social and international
issues relating to population change and immigration.

New Zealand society has undergone profound
changes in the past two decades with decreasing fertility rates, increasing
one-parent families, and a growth in settlers from non-European countries.

The cultural and ethnic diversity of our country was put in the spotlight
during one of the most memorable and moving early moments of the Coalition
Government - Pansy Wong's maiden speech.

She painted a picture of New Zealand as One Nation, Many People - a country
rich in people, skills and cultures.

New Zealand is a country formed by immigration - from the early 1800s when
the first settlers joined the indigenous Maori population, followed by waves of
European, Chinese, Asian and Pacific Island migrants.

Today we are a multicultural society with all the richness, benefits and
challenges that go with it. There are more than 12 significant-sized ethnic
groups within New Zealand. Chinese make up 2.3 per cent of our population - the
equivalent of a city the size of Palmerston North. Pacific Islanders make up 5
per cent.

A ministerial steering committee has been established by the Prime Minister to oversee general planning for the Population Conference with Immigration Minister Max Bradford having day-to-day responsibility for the event's organisation.

The two-day Population Conference on November 13 and 14 is expected to
attract about 300 participants, including representatives from the academic
world, central and local government, the business sector, education, health,
Maori and ethnic groups, social service and community sectors.

The Population Conference is a key part of the Coalition Agreement. It will
include high quality speakers and is aimed at a diverse range of people and
organisations interested in population and immigration issues.

The conference will inform the public and
the Government about present and future population dynamics so we are better
equipped to prepare for issues facing us in years to come.

To plan for our country's future we must know the facts and understand the
relationships between population growth, immigration, economic growth and social
needs. The conference will take a comprehensive look at demographic aspects
influencing economic growth and society.

The conference is an opportunity to explore the relationship between
population change and immigration, and the impact on economic activity and
future demand for education, social services and business growth.

Through a series of key addresses from experts, the
conference will consider the following:

  • New Zealand's current and future population dynamics;
  • an international perspective on demographic and economic impacts of
  • population change and the role of immigration;
  • population change, education, skills and growth;
  • population change and economic and social participation;
  • population change and growth and development.

The Conference will
also take an extensive look at what contributes to the successful settlement of
migrants and factors which may contribute to developing immigration targets.

Key addresses will be followed by a wide variety of smaller forums with
specialist expert speakers, panel and audience discussions.

Forum topics:

  • Population change and the labour market;
  • population change, education, skill development and growth;
  • the successful settlement of migrants and factors for setting immigration
  • population change and urban expansion and infrastructure;
  • population change and social services;
  • population change, national identity, ethnic diversity and cultural development;
  • population change and conservation, environment and recreation;
  • population change and Maori development;
  • population change and the business sector;
  • population change and international linkages.

As well as the wide range of participants and top quality
speakers from New Zealand and overseas, the conference venue itself is expected
to be a highlight of the programme.

It will be the first ever conference to be held at the new Museum of New
Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, on central Wellington's harbour front. (The museum
opens to the public in 1998.)

Judge Mick Brown - former Principal Youth Court
Judge of New Zealand is to chair the Conference. He brings to the role a
lifetime of experience and service to New Zealand and New Zealanders of all ages
and backgrounds.

The Prime Minister Jim Bolger, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and
Minister of Labour, Immigration, Business Development and Energy, Max Bradford,
will also speak at the conference.

The Government considers it important for a
diverse range of people to participate in the conference, and recognises that
some community groups may require financial assistance in order to attend.
Decisions on such assistance will be made once registrations have been received.

Anyone wishing to register their interest in attending the conference should
do so by contacting Corporate Arrangements (which has been contracted to make
the practical arrangements for the conference) by fax (04) 472-4225, email or by post to Population Conference Secretariat, P.O.
Box 12106, Thorndon, Wellington. Formal registration will begin next month,
closing in September.


Judge Mick Brown
Judge Brown was formerly the Principal Youth Court
Judge of New Zealand, is to chair the Population Conference. Judge Brown is at
present the Adjunct Professor of Law at Waikato University, and was Chancellor
of Auckland University from 1986 to 1991. He brings to the role a lifetime of
experience and service to New Zealand and its people of all ages and
backgrounds. In addition to his legal career, Judge Brown has served on numerous
sporting, charitable, community and educational bodies.

Rt Hon. Jim Bolger
Mr Bolger has been Prime Minister since October
1990. Under his leadership the New Zealand economy has been transformed from
having the lowest growth rate among the 29 OECD nations, to today having one of
the strongest. New Zealand is now recognised as being among the most competitive
economies in the world and as such, has attracted world interest in economics
and immigration. Mr Bolger's administration has pursued an outward-looking
foreign policy to strengthen New Zealand's relationships with other countries,
particularly in the Asia/Pacific region. This conference is of particular
interest to Mr Bolger as following the 1978 election, Mr Bolger was appointed
Minister of Labour and Minister of Immigration and retains a close interest in
the international movement of people, cultures and economics.

Hon. Winston Peters
Mr Peters was born in Whangarei, one of eleven
children. He has a BA (History/Political Studies), and an LLB from Auckland
University. He is a former teacher and a barrister and solicitor. He is a former
Auckland University and Maori rugby representative. His recreational interests
include sport, reading, fishing and ski-ing. He led 15 NZ First MPs into the
House in 1996. Mr Peters has since 1984 represented one of the fastest growing
districts in the country. Last year's census shows Tauranga's district
population grew 16.5% between 1991 and 1996 compared with nation-wide growth of
7.2%. Over the next 25 years, the Tauranga district's population is expected to
rise dramatically to about 120,000 - a jump of 50%.

Hon Max Bradford
Mr Bradford became Minister of Immigration, Labour,
Energy and Business Development in December 1996. As Immigration Minister, a key
focus of Mr Bradford's portfolio is to ensure that immigration makes a positive
contribution to New Zealand's economy, international competitiveness, society
and cultural diversity. The Population Conference is an important step towards
that goal, and Mr Bradford has taken an active role in its organisation. Mr
Bradford represents Rotorua and its surrounding district - an area with a strong
Maori population, tradition and culture. A career in economics, finance and
employment preceded Mr Bradford's entry into Parliament in 1990

Len Cook Len Cook is Government Statistician, Statistics New Zealand. Mr
Cook joined the Department of Statistics in 1971, rising to his present position
in 1992. He was also a member of the Royal Commission on Social Policy in
1987/88. Mr Cook has been involved in a wide range of issues in bringing
statistics to bear in business, government and community decision-making. He has
a particular interest in social policy, superannuation, taxation, demography,
statistical methodology, marketing and the application of information technology
to information issues.

Dr. Jim Smith James Smith holds the RAND chair in Labour Markets and
Demographic Studies at RAND - a Californian based non-profit institution focused
on public policy issues. Dr Smith (PhD University of Chicago 1972) chaired the
National Academy of Sciences' Panel on Demographic and Economic Impacts of
Immigration, 1995-1997. The panel's recent report is the most comprehensive
review of the consequences of immigration ever undertaken in the United States.
Dr Smith's published work also covers issues relating to ageing, health and
retirement, women in the labour market and long-term savings.

Prof. Ian Pool Ian Pool is Professor of Demography and Director of the
Population Studies Centre at the University of Waikato. Professor Pool (PhD
Australian National University 1964) lived overseas for 17 years, returning to
New Zealand in 1978 to his present position. His recent work has mainly been
research on population change in New Zealand in relation to social and economic
policy. He frequently acts as a consultant to the United Nations and other
agencies on population and development issues.

Prof. Richard Bedford
Richard Bedford is Professor of Geography at the
University of Waikato. Professor Bedford (PhD Australian National University
1971) has focused his work on the field of international migration, particularly
in relation to Pacific Island peoples and their migration to and from New
Zealand. He has also undertaken various research and consultancy contracts in
the Pacific. He was a member of the New Zealand Planning Council and is
currently Convenor of the Royal Society of New Zealand's National Committee for

Paula Rebstock
Paula Rebstock was born in the United States, and after
studying at the University of Oregon, worked in the private sector in the U.S.
She then studied at the London School of Economics, before moving to New Zealand
in 1988. Prior to joining the Department of Labour as General Manager, Policy,
she was with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and before that, The
Treasury. She has chaired or been a member of a number of major governmental
committees and task forces, including employment policy, tax and benefit reform
and immigration.

SIR Tipene O'Regan
Sir Tipene has been heavily involved in Maori and
development issues for the past 30 years. He has been particularly involved in
the development and re-capitalisation of his own Ngai Tahu people. His primary
focus has been on economic, cultural and resource management aspects of Maori
participation in New Zealand society. He currently leads the Ngai Tahu-Crown
Treaty settlement negotiations and Chairs the Ngai Tahu Holding Corporation,
Sealord Group Ltd, and the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission. He teaches
History at the University of Canterbury where he holds the Honorary Degree of
Doctor of Letters.