Muslims in New Zealand are young, energetic and growing

“New Zealand Muslims are fortunate to be able to observe their faith in peace and tranquility.”

Mohammed Answar Ali, secretary of the New Zealand Muslim Association.

Although a minority, less than 1% of the total population, the Muslim population in New Zealand is young, energetic and growing. It is estimated that there are approximately 17,000 Muslims in New Zealand representing a wide range of nations including Fiji, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Indonesia and Malaysia. The largest proportion of New Zealand’s Muslims originally come from Fiji and are ethnically Fijian Indian. There are also a growing number of local New Zealanders who are converting to Islam.
According to official census figures, the Muslim population has doubled almost every 5 years for the past 25 years.

Auckland, New Zealand

An estimated 63% of New Zealand’s Muslims live in Auckland, but there are also large communities in Wellington, Hamilton, Christchurch and Dunedin. There are currently 9 mosques and Islamic centres, 5 of which are in Auckland. Auckland’s largest mosque is in the suburb of Ranui. The first Islamic school, Al Madinah, is in the Auckland suburb of Mangere. According to a recent report, Al Madinah, which has 350 students, has the lowest school grades in New Zealand.

While most of New Zealand’s Muslims are Sunni Muslim there is also a small community of almost 1500 Shia Muslims. Due to recent changes in immigration policies this number has doubled over the past 3 years. During the late 1980′s there were as few as 12 Shia families, however due to new opportunities in New Zealand many professionals have immigrated. Several members of the Shia community are running weekend Arabic schools and they are hoping to build a Shia Islamic school in Auckland soon.


Flag of New Zealand


New Zealand Map

Christian Witness Needed in New Zealand

Christian witness among New Zealand’s Muslims is almost non-existent. Most Muslims in New Zealand will never meet a Christian or even be invited into a local New Zealand home. There is a small number of sincere Christians who pray regularly together and who are quietly reaching out to their Muslim neighbours, but the challenge to mobilise the Church in New Zealand to reach out to their local Muslim community is enormous.

Prayer Guide for New Zealand

* Pray for the migrants and refugees which are arriving in New Zealand almost every day.

* Pray that they would be placed within access to Christian support services.

* Pray for those Muslims who already have contacts with Christians, that their hearts would be opened to receive the Gospel.

* Pray for the children and teachers at Al Madinah School to have access to the Gospel.

* Pray that the Church in New Zealand would have an awareness of their responsibility and a desire to reach out to their local Muslim communities.

Background on New Zealand (World Factbook)

The Polynesian Maori reached New Zealand in about A.D. 800. In 1840, their chieftains entered into a compact with Britain, the Treaty of Waitangi, in which they ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria while retaining territorial rights. In that same year, the British began the first organized colonial settlement. A series of land wars between 1843 and 1872 ended with the defeat of the native peoples. The British colony of New Zealand became an independent dominion in 1907 and supported the UK militarily in both World Wars. New Zealand’s full participation in a number of defense alliances lapsed by the 1980s. In recent years, the government has sought to address longstanding Maori grievances.

Economy of New Zealand

New Zealand has seen remarkable economic growth over the past two decades. Most of this growth is due to a move away from an agrarian economy to technological and industrial sectors. Although not everyone has gained from this, per capita income rose for 10 years. It achieved 2.1% growth in 2010.

About New Zealand

Population: 4,365,113 (July 2013 est.) World Rank #126

Life Expectancy at Birth: 80.82 years. World Rank #25

Ethnic groups: European 56.8%, Asian 8%, Maori 7.4%, Pacific islander 4.6%, mixed 9.7%, other 13.5%

Religions: Protestant 38.6% (Anglican 13.8%, Presbyterian, Congregational, and Reformed 10%, Christian (no denomination specified) 4.6%, Methodist 3%, Pentecostal 2%, Baptist 1.4%, other Christian 3.8%), Roman Catholic 12.6%, Maori Christian 1.6%, Hindu 1.6%, Buddhist 1.3%, other religions 2.2%, none 32.2%, other or unidentified 9.9%

Languages: English (official), Maori (official), Sign Language (official)

Literacy: 99%

School Life Expectancy: 20 years

“NZ – Islam Nation” – Video

A Documentry piece on what it means to be a Muslim New Zealander.


  1. I’m a Kiwi, and I studied Islam in the Religion Dept at Victoria University. I have never been religious or a believer and grew up in a secular environment. I am not an a-theist as I was never a ‘theist’ and I’m not anti-religious. I welcome our multi cultural immigrants in New Zealand, including those Muslims seeking a better life from the lives they had under Islamic rule. I celebrate the growing interfaith worship, where Christian, Jewish and Islamic groups come together on common grounds. I spent several years getting to know many Muslims in Wellington. The reason for immigration was that they weren’t happy with their corrupt Islamic governments and had moved to New Zealand to benefit from secular government and freedom of expression. Many Muslims I talk to, here in the UK as well, identify culturally as Muslim but faith is often agnostic.

    Greg Taylor: Where ever you have white people you have problems. Aotearoa Maori should have learned that white people invade other countries, hijack their natural resources, steal their land and build on it, rape their women, sometimes take slaves, pillage what they want and stick their ugly patriotic flag on a land that belongs to the people they’ve conquered.

    Keep New Zealand racist free. We are egalitarian, multi cultural and all non Maori are guests. Mosques are beautiful places. Salaam aleikum. The only…

    • Sadeque Ali Syed says:

      Hi there, Nice to read your email. I am living in Auckland. I am 90% agreed with you. May Allah protect you and give you long happy life. Take care. Khuda hafez.

    • Your operant conditioning or brainwashing is strong…hardly surprising if you have gone through a ‘liberal’ university where a ‘diverse’ opinion other than the ‘thy shalt embrace MultiKult’… is rabidly shot down in flames. Your education also needs to extend to Mohammed’s life and to The Frankfurt School of Cultural Marxism and Political Correctness ….NWO aim for world-wide communism. I have nothing against Muslims generally…I have everything against those who want to destroy Western culture.

    • Steph…look further down to educate yourself on operant conditioning and please look up: The Frankfurt School of Cultural Marxism and Political Correctness. The likelihood that you will not is the truly alarming thing for Westerners. Personally, I have met and respected thoughtful and highly educated Muslims….but I would rather meet the racist, White-hating, misogynistic, Christophobic ones back in their own Middle Eastern countries!!

  2. Immigration is Human Right. People can choose to move one place to go work and marry in another place. Why should the first settlers of large lands such as Canada, Australia or NZ have the right to come with borders and stop the future generations from coming in. it is just selfish and racism and religion is being used or abused for this process.

    • Immigration is a human right? Since when? Then why is there only immigration into the West? Do you see immigrants (and not just temporary paid workers) into India? China? Pakistan? Bangladesh? Saudi Arabia? Qatar?

  3. Atleast , Tibet people are not being treated as the English/britishers treated the aborignies.
    here some individuals are aginst muslims immigration, but I think they are very few in number… I like newzealand and Australia. and experienced good from the people of kangroo and kiwi.

  4. Wow It just amazes me reading from all the people on this site, how Islam has such a soft start -soft touch approach to the “intended” Country, muslims can start a new life in peace and join in the kiwi ways just like all other races that come to New Zealand do?? right? except to be Muslim is to be in the faith of Islam, and Islam is not that which cares about a country’s cultural background.

    Give me a break – no one goes for this Islam is a religion of PEACE anymore (pieces ) more like it, ie Mali war crimes like hacking off limbs of non-muslims.
    There are 47 wars or civil unrest hot spots around the world at the moment and Islam is apart of 43 of them!!
    [Edited, Admin]

  5. @ Schwartz…Muslims want to spread their faith by going elsewhere, thats what is going on. They talk about how many people are joining Islam, usually its temporary, people dont like it. And they forget to talk about the Muslims who leave it in their hearts, because they FEAR to admit theyve left, for fear of retaliation of other Muslims. Especially if they join another faith. This is not democratic nor is it correct to make people fear. Nor is it right to go protesting hate about one country by the thousands of people who did so over what one man did in a video, a burning, or a cartoon

    For Muslims who want to be like other religions and practice their faiths in their homes and not expect countries to change their laws for them, its different. But if you have an agenda to spread your faith, expect us to change laws,and think you are a superior religion , then you should leave. …I do think there is a difference in the Muslims, depending on what sects they are from and from what countries. Perhaps NZ is not getting the radicals or fundamentalists as much, but Europe sure is! There are good and bad everywhere but excuse us if we start making laws where we CHOOSE which ones are acceptable to our own culture, just like SOME Muslim countries do. [Edited, Admin]

  6. The purpose of religion is to control yourself, not criticise others.

  7. to Hh
    The whole world is changing and people will assimilate and so what if we all turn a darker shade of pale! It is not about being white, black or yellow – life is about being human and treating people with decency. I too agree with the people who advocate against the society with over indulgence of alcohol, drugs and displaying the results out on our streets on a Friday night. It is appalling and standards need to be raised. My concern is that with all countries women and children are given more protection and options of health and safety than they currently are afforded

  8. Trevor, I agree with your comments as well. With NZ’s current MMP government style we stand a chance to retain our cultural heritage – and even the once down-trodden Maori are starting to be heard & respected after their culture and language was ripped away from them when the English arrived! All I want is that women are not sent back to the dark ages of being treated like a chattel.

  9. I would not be respecting Queen Elizabeth if I said she was an ok lady but denied her authority in the Commonwealth, I would be direspecting Mr Keys if I said he is a pretty decent bloke but denied his authority as the Political Leader of New Zealand.
    How can I give respect to the Lord Jesus Christ if I say he was a good Prophet and yet deny His rightful place as ‘The Only Begotten Son Of The Father’.
    For unto us a Son is born, unto us a Child is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulders.
    And His Name shall be called, Wonderful, Counseller, Mighty God Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Emanuel, meaning God with us.

  10. Who were the original, indigenous people of the UK? There have been so many invasions.

  11. Some thoughts:–The original inhabitants of North America were Amerindians, not Europeans, and it was the Europeans who initially brought the black African people to the USA and Caribbean.

  12. Not all muslims come to NZ as refugees. I know many muslims that are here as skilled migrants. They are filling positions that Kiwi’s themselves can’t. That is significant. They are contributing POSITIVELY to the country in a way that their own people can’t. Their taxes may be used for your good too.

  13. “Most Muslims in New Zealand will never meet a Christian or even be invited into a local New Zealand home.” What total tosh!! Think about it. How would any immigrant survive local day to day life without having to deal with the “locals” (dealing with councils, shopping, paying bills, in the banks etc etc etc, the list goes on.
    And as for never being invited into a local home………. I regularly invite a Muslim into my home for a chat and a cuppa and we get on brilliantly. My regular pharmacist is from Baghdad and I even asked a former Baghdad surgeon to operate on me the last time I was in hospital. Am I unique or something?

  14. Andrew, you’re unique. Good on ya mate.
    I must ask though, are you intimidated by niqab? What are your thoughts?

  15. Eko Suprapto Wibowo says:

    Really love seeing you guys thought flew from all over direction.
    It’s inevitable : Islam will come to every houses in this world.
    Then, it will perish.

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