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Public Support Keeps Census Planning on Track

Public Support Keeps Census on Track

Over 26,000 people who took part in the Census dress rehearsal were thanked today by Government Statistician, Len Cook. The dress rehearsal took place in parts of Tauranga, Gisborne, the Hutt Valley and Wainuiomata. It is the final large-scale test for the New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings scheduled for 6 March next year.

"We have really appreciated the good will and contribution of all the people we asked to take part in the dress rehearsal," said Mr Cook. "The population census is a major event that will involve everyone in New Zealand on 6 March 2001. The response to the dress rehearsal has reassured us that the new procedures we will be using in 2001 will work and that the questions will be readily and easily understood."

"Census information is used to make decisions that affect us all - such as where to build roads and schools, and planning health services," said Mr Cook. "It's important to get the facts right, so it's important to make the census as easy as possible so everyone can take part."

The dress rehearsal was a "real" test of how well people understood the questions. It also provided a way of evaluating the operational aspects of what will be a huge undertaking, noted Mr Cook. The census in March 2001 will involve around 5,800 enumerators visiting around 1.4 million homes and distributing forms to about 3.8 million people.

The dress rehearsal was a voluntary test for the census in 2001. No data will be published and, after the evaluation process is complete, all forms will be destroyed.

Len Cook
GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN

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