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Statistics investment ensures taxpayer money well

Thu, 20 May 2004

Statistics investment ensures taxpayer money well spent

Pre-Budget announcement of extra funding for Statistics NZ.

A Budget 2004 investment of nearly $70 million over four years will strengthen New Zealand's official statistics and save money through more accurate targeting of government spending, Minister for Statistics John Tamihere says.

Mr Tamihere announced the funding for Statistics NZ at Canterbury Manufacturers' Association's e-commerce conference in Christchurch today.

The package includes: - $20 million to improve census data collection by boosting funding for census enumerators and use of the internet. - $22.5 million to create a stronger foundation for social policy spending and evaluation. - $14 million to strengthen official statistics by improving co-ordination, access and use of statistics. - $10.5 million to develop Linked Employer-Employee Data (linking Statistics NZ's business information with employer and employee administrative data). - $2.7 million additional funding to secure new office accommodation for Statistics NZ in Wellington. - $1 million to collect better information on the economic contribution of volunteering and non-profit activities.

Mr Tamihere says the increased funding for Statistics NZ will save money in the medium and long term through more accurate targeting of government spending.

"The government must make sure we spend taxpayers' money effectively and this requires a robust system of statistics to provide accurate definition of the issues, and measurement of the effect of government policy and initiatives. While extensive data on business performance is essential, we need to ensure that its collection does not create a heavy burden on business, and this funding will go a long way to lightening the compliance load," Mr Tamihere says.

ENDS

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