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About this book

This book examines the relationship between migration, diversification and inequality in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The authors advance a view of migration as a diversifying force, arguing that it is necessary to grapple with the intersection of group identities, state policy and economic opportunities as part of the formation of inequalities that have deep historical legacies and substantial future implications. Exploring evidence for inequality amongst migrant populations, the book also addresses the role of multicultural politics and migration policy in entrenching inequalities, and the consequences of migrant inequalities for political participation, youth development and urban life.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Introduction: The Intersections of Inequality, Migration and Diversification

Inequality, or the rise of disparities within populations, and human migration constitute two of the major challenges facing societies today. In highlighting the close links between them, scholarship has principally focused on extant inequalities between migrant and non-migrant groups. In this introductory chapter, we argue that diversification in contemporary migration policies in Anglophone labour-receiving societies produces inequalities between, among and within migrant groups that also demand urgent attention. The chapter further outlines the core precepts informing this book. Firstly, migrants are a heterogeneous group who are increasingly stratified in ways unconnected to their ethnic or national differences. Secondly, inequalities among migrants are produced in the complex intersections of race, class, gender, legal status, sexuality, age and histories of settlement. Finally, inequality manifests in diverse and localised forms affecting access to income, wealth, opportunity, well-being and social and political capital. The chapters that follow both empirically ground and theoretically develop these foundational arguments within employment and the labour market, housing, adolescent well-being, urban planning, multicultural policy and electoral politics.
Francis L. Collins, Rachel Simon-Kumar, Wardlow Friesen

Chapter 2. Quantifying and Qualifying Inequality Among Migrants

The analysis of inequality between migrant and non-migrant/host populations has been regularly undertaken within migration studies. However, the consideration of inequalities within migrant populations is much less common. A range of factors may contribute to the inequalities between migrant groups, including nationality, ethnicity and migration status, and within migrant groups, including gender, educational level and socio-economic status. These may originate in pre-migration factors such as social capital, factors related to the selectivity of the migration process itself and/or post-migration conditions such as ‘fit’ in the labour market, reception by the host society and degree of access to services. Using the New Zealand case study, this chapter develops some methods of quantifying some of these inequalities through the use of measures related to income, unemployment and wage levels. The use of these quantitative approaches is also qualified in relation to data availability, data accuracy and the dangers of essentialising difference. Furthermore, the use of qualified information based on detailed case studies and other sources is also suggested. As proposed elsewhere in this book, migration policy itself is the source of inequality among migrants, but an understanding of other sources of inequality is also important in informing policy on migrant outcomes for government and non-government agencies.
Wardlow Friesen

Chapter 3. Justifying Inequalities: Multiculturalism and Stratified Migration in Aotearoa/New Zealand

This chapter questions the future of inclusive diversity and multiculturalism in contexts where migrant statuses are increasingly stratified and unequal. It analyses transitions in the policy discourses of multiculturalism and diversity in Aotearoa/New Zealand over a period of two decades, highlighting the growing stratification of migrants into distinct intersectional ‘categories’ within current policy and public discourse: precarious migrants, permanent residents and the super-diverse. Pointing to a shift from ‘inclusive’ to ‘targeted’ multiculturalism after 2008, the chapter identifies the needs and entitlements of each group and the potential conflicts in their claims for rights. The conclusion offers some critical reflections for reconsidering contemporary multicultural policy.
Rachel Simon-Kumar

Chapter 4. Legislated Inequality: Provisional Migration and the Stratification of Migrant Lives

Over recent decades, a focus on management has become increasingly central in the formulation and operation of migration policy across the world. This is particularly the case in Anglophone settler societies, where migration regimes, formerly oriented towards large-scale settlement, have progressively introduced schemes for temporary migrant entry for work or study that hold out the prospect of settlement for only a select number of arrivals. While migration policy has always hinged on inequalities between potential and actual migrants, these provisional migration regimes manifest an internalisation of inequality in relation to the present rights and future prospects of individuals residing within nations. This chapter explores the shifting relationship between migration policy and inequality through a focus on labour migration policies in Aotearoa/New Zealand and the ways in which the value of migrants has become oriented around claims of quality and skill that have manifest impact on the daily lives of migrants and the communities they live amongst. Through this analysis, the chapter demonstrates the manner that inequalities within migrant populations, as well as between migrants and non-migrants, are not only established through extant social and economic differences but also formalised through the legislation of multidimensional stratification in society.
Francis L. Collins

Chapter 5. The Intersecting Electoral Politics of Immigration and Inequality in Aotearoa/New Zealand

This chapter examines immigrants’ voice in New Zealand’s electoral politics by looking at how many immigrant members of parliament (MPs) there are, and how many immigrants turn out to vote. I point out that while New Zealand’s mixed-member proportional (MMP) electoral system and the availability of voting rights to permanent residents facilitate immigrant voting, not all immigrant groups are represented equally in Parliament or turn out to vote at the same rates. Factors such as the recency of migration, residential and labour market concentration and historical partisanship among specific immigrant groups, along with political parties’ candidate selection decisions, all affect the extent to which immigrants from different source countries have their voices heard in Parliament. I highlight the role that political parties have to play in ensuring that immigrants are represented in New Zealand’s Parliament, and argue such representation is necessary if immigrants are to challenge the conditions that will otherwise lead to their marginalisation.
Kate McMillan

Chapter 6. Inequality and Adolescent Migrants: Results from Youth2000 Survey

Diversity in Aotearoa/New Zealand is increasing, and most rapidly among the youngest age groups. While existing research into young migrants has explored aspects of their lived experiences, there is little work that specifically investigates these from a perspective of inequality. Using data from a series of nation-wide surveys of secondary school students, we found the youth population in Aotearoa/New Zealand to be more diverse than ever before, with growing disparities among migrant groups in legal status in Aotearoa/New Zealand, experience of household, neighbourhood and school deprivation, social connectedness, ethnic discrimination and health. Governments that seek to make migration policy conducive only to labour market needs and ignore its long-term structural and intergenerational consequences will perpetuate ethnic inequalities.
Sonia Lewycka, Roshini Peiris-John, Rachel Simon-Kumar

Chapter 7. Urban Diversity and Inequality in Auckland

In this chapter, Terruhn discusses the relationships between urban policy and planning discourses of diversity and socio-spatial urban inequalities in the context of New Zealand’s largest and most diverse city, Auckland. Centrally, the chapter argues that in spite of aspirations to inclusiveness, discourses of diversity effectively reinforce and deflect from socio-spatial inequalities as a result of processes that are related to the marketisation of diversity in the context of global inter-urban competition. In conceiving of diversity primarily as an economic asset, policy discourses create a dichotomy between desirable and undesirable diversity, whilst spatial planning practices commodify diversity in a way that caters primarily to young, affluent consumers. Low-income residents are excluded from such visions and practices of diversity. At the same time, a preoccupation with shared values and social cohesion as the basis for convivial coexistence deflects from considerations of inequalities and how they affect social relations in diverse urban spaces.
Jessica Terruhn

Chapter 8. Migration, Diversity and Inequality: Afterword

The Afterword summarises the main points of the book and puts the preceding chapters into a wider conversation beyond the particular context of Aotearoa/New Zealand. It focuses on the multidimensionality of inequality and highlights the problems of legal status, the neo-liberal logic of migration governance and the politics of classification. These themes make the book relevant to a global audience.
Harald Bauder


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