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Census Was a Lost Opportunity

Andrew Williams MP
Spokesperson for Internal Affairs
6 March 2013

Census Was a Lost Opportunity to Gather Better Information

The first census in seven years was a lost opportunity to ask new pertinent questions, says New Zealand First.

Internal Affairs spokesperson Andrew Williams says census officials said questions used in this year’s census were essentially unchanged from the 2006 census.

“They asked whether your home is heated. Why not also ask whether it is insulated, or whether the home you occupy has leaky building issues?

“Instead of asking how you got to work on a single day, why not ask how often you use public transport, or whether you live within walking distance of public transport?”

Mr Williams says there are plenty of other examples of helpful questions that could have been asked this year.

“Census organisers are on record as saying the census results would help the Government, Iwi and local councils to plan for future requirements.

“It really is a wasted opportunity to ask the same old questions trotted out in 2006 without introducing other questions addressing major issues facing the country.

“The census cost the Government a lot of money, doesn’t come around often, and we should maximise every opportunity to get relevant information so the country can progress.

“A ‘same-old, same-old’ approach just doesn’t cut it,” says Mr Williams.


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