Maori numbers rise in Otautahi

The latest census figures show Canterbury has recorded big spikes in its Maori population.

Between 2006 and last year's census, the Maori population increased by 57% in the Mackenzie District and by just over 50% in Selwyn.

Lincoln University researcher Simon Lambert says he knows that some of rises will be in the rural sector, as the dairy sector pulls in whanau for farmwork.

He says a number of Maori moved out of the city to the outskirts of Christchurch after the earthquakes.

Christchurch's Maori population in Christchurch has grown by 8%.

Mr Lambert says the growth can't be fully attributed to the earthquakes, as it's compared to 2006 data - well before the quakes started.

Areas with a drop in the number of resident Maori include Bay of Plenty and parts of the central North Island.

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