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Statistics NZ's Data Not Used for Levies

Farmers could be assured that individual information collected in Statistics New Zealand’s agricultural surveys would not be used to determine tax or levy liabilities, Government Statistician Brian Pink said today.

He was responding to newspaper reports in which a Taranaki Federated Farmers spokesman said if the government went ahead with the so-called ‘flatulence tax’, farmers would want to know whether officials would be using agricultural census information they had been told would remain confidential. Mr Pink said farmers' data is treated in strict confidence. The security of individual information collected was protected by the Statistics Act 1975.

He emphasised the importance of having up-to-date information on agriculture, and noted that the cooperation and goodwill of farmers was needed to produce high-quality statistics. “I appreciate the time and effort farmers put into completing the 2002 Agricultural Production Census questionnaire and thank them for it,” Mr Pink said. “I look forward to a similar level of cooperation with the 2003 survey now being posted.”

Brian Pink Government Statistician END

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