There are two official languages in Aotearoa New Zealand – Māori and New Zealand Sign Language. These were established by the Māori Language Act 1987 and the New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006. English is the predominant language spoken.  According to Census 2013, English, Te Reo Māori, Samoan and Hindi are the most widely spoken languages in New Zealand.Graphic - language names as a globe with the word 'Languages' bold and in red on the front.

The information on the following pages includes data from the 2001 Census, 2006 Census and 2013 Census. Where possible the most recently published data have been used.


  • Languages spoken in New Zealand

    People have come from all over the world to make New Zealand their home. As they do so, the range of languages spoken in New Zealand is becoming more diverse. Table 1: Languages spoken in New Zealand, 2001, 2006 & 2013Number of people able to speak language...

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  • Top 25 Languages in New Zealand

    Below is a list of the 25 languages with the highest number of speakers at the time of Census 2013. Table 1: Top 25 Languages by number of speakers, 2013. Language Number of speakers Percentage of Total Population, % 1 English 3,819,969 90% 2 Māori

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  • Languages spoken by region

    Table 1 shows the percentage of the population in each New Zealand region who were able to speak English, Māori and ‘Other’ languages. Table 1: Language spoken by region, 2013 (%) Region English Te Reo Māori Other languages Northland 89 8 7 Auckland 87 2 33...

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  • Who speaks what?

    Almost everyone speaks English in New Zealand, particularly those born here. But more people in New Zealand also speak other languages. People born overseas are much more likely to speak an additional language. Figure 1: Number of languages spoken by ethnic group, 2013 (%)...

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  • Language spoken by birthplace

    At the time of Census 2013, there were 2,980,824 New Zealand-born people living in this country and 1,001,787 people born overseas. Table 1 shows the percentage of these groups by the languages that they are able to speak.

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  • Languages we are learning

    Language plays a critical role in all our lives; it determines who we interact with and how we are perceived. Learning a language can also help us learn about our heritage or connect with a culture different from our own.

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  • Language Information and Advice

    Information and advice about language. Report: Language and Integration in New Zealand (2013). This report contributes to our understanding of the impact that the language skills of migrants have on their ability to participate in and contribute to New Zealand society....

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