The Nga Tangata Oho Mairangi (NTOM) research programme is funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). The programme of research is broad and involves both Massey and Waikato Universities. This report focuses on the Massey contribution which examines how people make sense of the demographic changes occurring within their local region. Questions relating to migration, mobility and a sense of community were asked across five regions: Auckland and Wellington in the North Island; and Canterbury, West Coast and Southland in the South Island. These are all regions experiencing different kinds of
population change: high population growth (Auckland and Christchurch); new patterns of immigration (West Coast and Southland); and steady growth in the context of a predominantly European/ Pākehā (77%) population (Wellington). In each of these five regions, using an iterative mixed method approach, we completed three projects in order to better understand how people, (household members, employers and school leavers) were responding to the changes happening in their communities (Figure 1). In the first project, which focused on households, a Q sort followed by in-depth interviews with household members was undertaken in order to identify different viewpoints on regional population change. The second project focused on employers, and a survey was used to collect information about the opportunities and challenges faced by those in business. The final project was focus groups with school leavers who were identified as a significant demographic cohort because they face important decisions with respect to labour market engagement and mobility. The focus groups were designed to reveal students’ motivations and aspirations, as well as opportunities and obstacles they face.