New Zealand is now more diverse than ever before, having seen unprecedented increases in the ethnic, cultural, social and linguistic diversity of the New Zealand population. There are now over 160 different languages spoken in New Zealand, and Auckland is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. 

This paper presents a broad view of languages use in New Zealand using international and national research. The research outlined explores the case for a national languages policy in order to unify disparate policies and areas of practice. A launch of the paper was held on 5 March 2013 at Tamaki Paenga Hira Auckland Museum.

Download the paper:

Read the media release:
Read about the process for preparing this paper and the submissions received:

Stakeholder workshop on languages and super-diversity in Aotearoa/New Zealand – 21 May 2015

This workshop built on the 2013 Royal Society of New Zealand Languages in Aotearoa/New Zealand paper, and examined the trends two years on, as well as drawing on the latest National Ethnic Projections from Statistics New Zealand. The strategic implications of New Zealand’s linguistic and cultural diversity were discussed, as well as the connections between languages and policy. 

Which languages are spoken in your area?

The Society has prepared interactive maps of the available languages used in New Zealand. The data comes from the 2006 Census and Statistics New Zealand area data. Click on each of the maps below to see the language use in your area.



Te Reo




All others