Why do people who collect statistics and design survey forms consider race to be more important than any other factors which define ethnicity?
This morning I completed a survey for Air New Zealand and was pleased that at last it’s possible to be a New Zealand of either Maori or European descent in answer to the question how would you describe your ethnic origin?
|New Zealander/ Kiwi/ New Zealander of European descent|
|Maori/ New Zealander of Maori descent|
|Or another ethnicity (please type in)|
But why can’t New Zealanders of Maori descent be Kwis and what about all the other people who happen to be descended from other races?
Why does having a Scottish father and maternal grandparents allow me to claim New Zealand ethnicity when having antecedents from the Pacific Islands, Asia and North or South America wouldn’t?
And if it’s ethnicity rather than race they’re interested in why European which covers a multitude of ethnicities?
New Zealander isn’t just nationality it’s an ethnicity which takes in all the things which unite us regardless of our race.
This is the 21st century and it’s time statisticians and survey designers caught up with the reality – race is only one aspect of ethnicity. Making it the prime determinant is excluding and inexact.