Ethnic Group Codes

This page provides information about ethnic group codes and rankings the Ministry uses in its data collections.

Last Updated: November 2014

Description 

The Ministry uses Statistics New Zealand's definition of ethnicity: ethnicity is the ethnic group or groups that people identify with or feel they belong to. Ethnicity is a measure of cultural affiliation, as opposed to race, ancestry, nationality or citizenship.

All enrolment forms should allow students to identify with up to three ethnic groups. But note that some Ministry data collections require you to report a student as being in one ethnic group only. The Ministry uses Statistics New Zealand rankings to decide which ethnic group to use when a student identifies with more than one ethnic group.

Ethnic Group Code Downloads

Level 1 Ethnic Groups

The Ministry uses Level 1 Ethnic Groups for National Standards reporting. You can only report a student as being in one ethnic group, so use the ranking table below to decide which ethnic group to use for a student who identifies with more than one ethnic group. Note that National Standards reporting is a school-wide summary report, so ranking the ethnic groups prevents students being counted more than once.

Table 1: Ethnic Group Codes at Level 1
Ethnic Group Priority Ranking for National Standards Reporting Ethnic Group Priority Ranking for National Standards Reporting
Māori 1st MELAA1,2 4th
Pasifika 2nd Other2 5th
Asian 3rd European/Pākehā 6th

Notes:

  1. MELAA = Middle Eastern/Latin American/African
  2. National Standards schools provide results for MELAA and Other, but they are not currently reported publicly.

Level 2 Ethnic Groups

The Ministry uses Level 2 Ethnic Groups for Tables SL1 and SL2 of school roll return and the RS61. Schools can only report a student as being in one ethnic group for the roll returns, so they can use the ranking table below to decide which ethnic group to use for a student who identifies with more than one ethnic group.  

Table 2: Ethnic Group Codes at Level 2
Ethnic Group Ranking for Prioritised Reporting Ethnic Group Ranking for Prioritised Reporting
NZ Māori 1st Chinese 11th
Tokelauan 2nd Other Asian 12th
Fijian 3rd Middle Eastern 13th
Nuean 4th Latin America 14th
Tongan 5th African 15th
Cook Island Māori 6th Other 16th
Samoan 7th Other European 17th
Other Pacific Peoples 8th NZ European/ Pākehā 18th
Southeast Asian 9th Not Stated 19th
Indian 10th

Level 3 Ethnic Groups

The Ministry uses Level 3 Ethnic Groups for:

  • School Student Management Systems (SMS)
  • ENROL – the student enrolment system for schools
  • Tertiary Student Management Systems
  • ECE Student Management Systems
  • Early Learning Information (ELI) system


When using these systems, users can record multiple ethnicities for individuals.  Most SMS systems allow up to three ethnicities per individual.  Your SMS it will apply ranking rules automatically when it creates summary reports.

Table 3: Ethnic Group Codes at Level 3
Code Ethnic Group Code Ethnic Group
111 NZ European / Pākehā 371 Other Pacific Peoples
121 British / Irish 411 Filipino
122 Dutch 412 Cambodian
123 Greek 413 Vietnamese
124 Polish 414 Other Southeast Asian
125 South Slav 421 Chinese
126 Italian 431 Indian
127 German 441 Sri Lankan
128 Australian 442 Japanese
129 Other European 443 Korean
211 Māori 444 Other Asian
311 Samoan 511 Middle Eastern
321 Cook Islands Māori 521 Latin American
331 Tongan 531 African
341 Niuean 611 Other Ethnicity
351 Tokelauan 999 Not Stated
361 Fijian

Level 4 Ethnic Groups

See Priority Report Level 4

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