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Invitation to Comment on 2006 Census Content

Invitation to Comment on 2006 Census Content

Submissions are now being invited on the proposed range of topics for the 2006 Census. To assist people in making submissions, Statistics New Zealand has published a report, 2006 Census of Population and Dwellings: Preliminary Views on Content. An essential part of planning for the 2006 Census is determining the content of the census questionnaires, and consulting with interested groups is an integral part of this process. "Statistics New Zealand is committed to ensuring that the content of the census reflects the wider information needs of government and the community," said Government Statistician, Brian Pink.

In Preliminary Views on Content, Statistics New Zealand has released its initial views on the topics that should be included in the 2006 Census. Its recommendations include the addition of the topics of fertility and cigarette smoking, last asked in 1996. In response to user requests and the increasingly difficult environment for data collection, Statistics New Zealand's focus for 2006 is on continuity and improvements in data quality, rather than significant topic changes.

Statistics New Zealand will evaluate whether changes to existing topics would improve data quality. A number of topic areas have been identified as requiring consideration to ensure they reflect current information needs. These include education and training, work, income, families and households, and dwelling type.

The five-yearly census is the only complete count of New Zealand's population, and is essential for supporting an extensive range of social, economic and regional programmes. The census collects information about a wide variety of topics to provide an ongoing picture of who we are and how we are changing. For example, topics such as birthplace and years since arrival provide data that is important for communities and governments in planning services for migrants. Data on educational qualifications may be of use for those interested in identifying skill shortages and over-supply, or mismatches between people's skills and occupations.

A copy of 2006 Census of Population and Dwellings: Preliminary Views on Content can be viewed and downloaded from the department's website ( It will also be available for viewing at larger public libraries. A free copy of the report can be requested from Statistics New Zealand by phoning toll free 0508 CENSUS (0508 236 787) or by sending an email to mailto:

Anyone wishing to comment on the content of the 2006 Census should complete the submission form online at or download a hard copy version of the form. A submission form is also included in the Preliminary Views on Content report. Extra forms are available at larger public libraries and can be requested by phone or email from Statistics New Zealand. The closing date for submissions is 27 June 2003. Decisions on the topics to be included the 2006 Census will be outlined in 2006 Census of Population and Dwellings: Final Report on Content, due for release in October 2003.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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