This report has presented the results of three research projects carried out in the wider Southland region: interviews with household members about population change; a survey of employers in the Dairying and Education sectors; and focus groups
with school leavers about their understandings of population change, ethnic diversity, and their hopes for the future.
Interviews with household members revealed three dominant viewpoints towards population change, including increasing ethnic diversity in Southland. The majority of residents shared the belief that ethnic diversity enriched the local community and was
intrinsically valuable for the region more broadly. Others were not particularly concerned about ethnic diversity or population change but were more concerned with the capacity of local Southlanders being free to move in order to follow education and employment opportunities. The final viewpoint was primarily interested in the changing nature of what it means to be a New Zealander. These participants were open to New Zealand’s national identity changing in response to new social conditions.