What is the Population of the Chatham Islands?

The last official census of the Chatham Islands was conducted in 2018, showing an over 2 percent increase from 2013, up to 663 from 600. As of June 2022, it is estimated that the island's population is 800 souls - which represents a population density of exactly 1 person per every squared kilometer. The Chatham and the Pitt islands are inhabited by permanent residents with a median age of 41.9 years, compared to 37.4 years of age nationally in New Zealand. The majority of the people identify as European, Maori, and Pakeha, with some of the islanders identifying with more than one nationality. Although many have refused to share their views, almost half of the island said that they had no religion, with about a third of the island observing a form of the Christian faith.

The main settlement on the island is the town of Waitangi, which had 177 residents in the 2018 census of the population. The other villages include Kaingaroa, Te One, and Owen. There are two primary schools on the island, with a third located on nearby Pitt island. There are a few fishing villages, with the most popular being Port Hutt. Although it is a small town, the largest city of Waitangi has a bank and hospital and offers various engineering and marine services.

What are the Chatham Islands?

The Chatham Islands are an archipelago that is located about 800km away from New Zealand's South Island in the Pacific Ocean. The archipelago has about ten islands which are within 60km of each other, the largest of which is Chatham Island, with a close second being Pitt Island, called Rangiaruia in the Maori language. The island holds New Zealand's easternmost point, which is named the forty-fours. Some of the other islands in the archipelago were cleared of their farmland to be preserved as nature reserves which conserve the region's unique fauna and flora.

The islands were largely uninhabited for many thousands of years before the Moriori people arrived around the year 1500 AD. They settled on the island and found that there were no hostile people nearby, so the way of life was extremely peaceful, and followed these practices. In 1835, Maori tribes from North Island invaded the region and almost exterminated the peoples, as they had no means to defend themselves due to not being in conflict for over 300 years. All of the survivors were enslaved and were eventually released in 1863 by direct order of the resident magistrate.

What are Some Interesting Facts about the Chatham Islands?

State services on the island are a token of the past, as the policing of the entire island is carried out by a constable appointed by the police district of Wellington. The constable also often doubles as an official for many of the governmental departments of the island, including the customs officer and immigration officer. Because of the isolation, many transportation laws in New Zealand are relaxed on the island.

Chatham Islands Population 2024