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Minority participation crucial to census

Raymond Huo
Statistics Spokesperson
Associate Ethnic Affairs Spokesperson

4 March 2013

Minority participation crucial to census

Labour’s first Chinese-born MP is encouraging Asian voters to fill in their census papers tomorrow and help draw the picture of New Zealand’s changing society.

Statistics spokesman Raymond Huo says he has read reports that Asian ethnicities are among those who historically don’t participate in the census. He says language barriers can sometimes make this group difficult to reach and some are suspicious because of perceived privacy issues.

“I would encourage anyone who has doubts to make use of the multi-lingual resources that are available and talk to somebody on the toll-free help-line.

“It’s in all our interests for Census 2013 to paint the most comprehensive picture possible of New Zealand’s changing society,” Raymond Huo said.

At the last census the Asian population was estimated to number approximately 400,000. I expect the actual number of Asian New Zealanders is much higher.

“We know that the Asian community is predicted to continue its rapid growth in the coming decades, so having accurate figures is vital in terms of understanding how society is changing, and how public money and resources are allocated.”

Raymond Huo says Asian voters sometimes need assurances that the information they provide in areas such as personal income remains totally secure. They need to be told that the Government needs this information in order to draw the big picture and that individuals are not targeted.

“The census is an effective way for minority communities to be heard and counted,” Raymond Huo said.

ENDS

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