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Census on track for 70 percent online

Census on track for 70 percent online

20 March 2018

More than 3.2 million people have completed the 2018 Census online so far, and the total is expected to exceed the online target of 70 percent, Stats NZ said today.

“We expect at least a 70 percent online response and combined with paper forms, the total response rate is anticipated to be well above 90 percent and on a par with previous censuses,” 2018 Census general manager Denise McGregor said.

“We won’t be able to produce a definitive online response rate until we have completed and processed all the census information, but our model shows that we are on track for at least 70 percent of census responses to be online this year.”

“Because so many New Zealanders have taken part online, and yet more have completed and returned their paper forms, our field teams are now able to concentrate on following up with the remaining households and people who haven’t taken part yet.”

“Response rates from all regions of New Zealand are tracking well as we head into the final follow-up period for the census.”

“For example, in the Far North, where we have been visiting isolated communities and delivering access codes and paper forms by hand, most districts have taken part above our expectations for this stage of the operation. Current online response rates for Northland are also keeping pace with the rest of the country.”

It is too early to release detailed regional data as the census team is still in the process of following up with households, and collecting and processing online and paper forms.

Stats NZ has also processed more than 260,000 individual paper forms so far.

Households who have not responded to the original access code letter, or the two reminder letters, will be visited over the next few weeks so that we can help them complete their forms online or by paper.

We will run follow-up field visits until approximately mid-April, which is normal for a census operation.

In some parts of New Zealand, like the Far North, Te Uruwera, and the Whanganui River, we started field visits early, delivering census access codes and paper forms direct to approximately 4,000 households. We took this approach in parts of New Zealand that are more isolated than others, and where there are challenges with internet access.

There were also delays in reaching some parts of New Zealand by census day with access code letters. The delays were in Takaka / Golden Bay, Westland, East Cape / North of Gisborne, parts of Northland, and some of our remote islands such as the Chatham Islands. This delay affected approximately 11,500 households.

Ends

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