Iraqi New Zealanders

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Iraqi New Zealanders
Total population
6,024 Iraq-born[1]
Regions with significant populations
Wellington, Auckland
New Zealand English and Iraqi Arabic
also Kurdish (Sorani and Kurmanji dialects), Turkish (Iraqi Turkmen/Turkoman dialects), Neo-Aramaic (Chaldean, Ashuri, and Mandaic), and Hebrew
Predominantly Christianity (mostly Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic) and Islam
Minority: Judaism
Related ethnic groups
Arabs, Armenians, Assyrians, Azerbaijanis, Iranians, Mizrahi Jews, Turks,
Some descendants New Zealanders

Iraqi New Zealanders constitute a small population immigrants from Iraq and New Zealand-born people of Iraqi heritage or descent.

The 2006 census found that 6024 New Zealanders were born in Iraq, although the figure of Iraqi New Zealanders will be higher than this as many New Zealand-born children of Iraqis may consider themselves to be Iraqi New Zealanders. The majority of Iraqi New Zealanders came to New Zealand as refugees during the 1990s and many were Assyrian Christians who had been persecuted for their religion. The greatest concentrations of Iraqis are in Auckland and Wellington.[2]

A large number of Iraqi Christians (ethnic Chaldeans) live in the North Shore region of Auckland city. These are mainly highly educated Iraqis who were from Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, and Basra city in the south of Iraq. They came under the skilled migrant point system category in the mid 1990s. A large number have settled in the Unsworth Heights and Albany suburbs. The North Shore Iraqi community is one of the fastest growing middle eastern communities in New Zealand. A lot of the Iraqi immigrants had trouble working in their professional fields as there was a lack of employment during the early 1990s; however, by the late 2000s, many had established their own private businesses from private medical clinics to industrial firms.

Many New Zealand born Iraqis still retain aspects of their culture. This includes Iraqi food, drink, art, annual Iraqi New Zealand feasts, and a strong commitment to extended family.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ James Veitch; Dalia Tinawi (25 March 2015). "Middle Eastern peoples: Country of birth". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  2. ^ James Veitch; Dalia Tinawi (9 December 2014). "Middle Eastern peoples: Iraqis and Iranians". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 4 March 2016.