The head of a new demographic research unit wants the Government to encourage young Maori families to move back from Australia.
At launch of the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis at Waikato University on Wednesday, Professor Natalie Jackson said fewer people were entering the labour market than were retiring for the first time in New Zealand's history.
She said the situation would get worse from next year as post-war baby boomers reached retirement age.
Professor Jackson also said Government agencies were ignoring the implications of having half of the Maori population under 23, while the median age of the non-Maori population is 38.
She said that when the non-Maori population was relatively young, resources went into education and young families, but because it had aged, the state's resources had been diverted to meet the needs of the ageing population.