It has been over 40 years since the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 became law. New Zealand has changed since then.
We look at some of these changes in our Study Paper.
Some of the key changes are:
- New Zealand is more culturally diverse. The proportion of New Zealanders identifying as European has dropped from 88% in 1976 to 74% in 2013. Māori, Pacific and Asian populations have more than doubled since 1976.
- People in relationships are less likely to get married. The marriage rate has decreased. De facto relationships are more common. In 2013, 22% of couples said they were in a de facto relationship.
- Families’ living arrangements change frequently. One study found that, in one year, around 94,000 people move from living with a partner to living alone, with or without children.
- Single parent families have almost doubled, from 5% of all households in 1976, to 9% in 2015. In 2013, 84% of single parents were women.
- A recent study found that only 7% of children lived their whole childhood (from birth to age 15) in households containing only nuclear family members.