What does belonging mean to you?

To feel like you belong, you need to be able to be your whole self. This means feeling accepted and included, and not feeling discriminated against or excluded.

For us to understand how to improve inclusivity in Aotearoa, we wanted to find out what it was that made people feel like they belonged. We held two runs of workshops over the motu in 2020 and in 2022.

We asked about belonging because we wanted to understand what helps people belong; what gets in the way of belonging; and find out what work is needed to create a society where everyone feels valued.

The workshops were framed on three questions:

Our approach

From February to September 2020, we met with and talked to individuals and groups across the country. Due to the restrictions caused by Covid-19, things went a little differently than planned. This meant we met with people both face-to-face and over video calls, in hui and individually. We also received submissions online through our website.

Who spoke to us

860 people
  • 73%
    Between 25 and 65 years of age
  • 70%
    Identified as female
  • 77
    Ethnicities and cultures
  • 52

How it lines up with other data

The communities of Aotearoa New Zealand are incredibly diverse – and within every community itself there is even more diversity and difference. What these communities share in common is the desire to have a society that is inclusive and provides belonging for all.

We asked a team of researchers to help us understand what work has been done before in Aotearoa New Zealand around diversity, belonging and inclusion. The Capturing the Diversity Dividend of Aotearoa New Zealand research project at the University of Waikato put together a review of all of this research.

Download the review in PDF format  (pdf - 1 MB) Download the review in Word format  (docx - 225 KB)