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Minister of Statistics - Gender questions a priority

Stats Minister makes clear his priority to have better data on gender identity and sexual orientation

The Minister of Statistics has written to the Chief Statistician making clear his expectation that work to include census questions on, not just biological sex, but also sexual identity and sexual orientation will be a priority for the next national census in 2023.

James Shaw has acknowledged the Rainbow community’s anger and frustration at not having questions included in next month’s census.

“I was disappointed to learn that the 2018 Census is not going to include questions that take into account the diverse gender and sexual identities of New Zealand,” says Statistics Minister James Shaw.

“I would like to think that we would have found a way to overcome these issues already.”

In a speech Mr Shaw planned to deliver at Auckland’s Big Gay Out, which has been rained off, he intended to point out that he was “raised by two mums”.

“While their sexual identity doesn’t solely define them as people, I have always known that it is intrinsic to them and matters. And I understand that being seen and counted matters,” says Mr Shaw.

He says that Stats NZ has been working for a number of years towards ensuring that all relevant data collection includes diverse gender and sexual orientation information.

“I hope that 2018 will be the last census that fails to give you the chance to identify yourself based on your gender or sexual identity,” says Mr Shaw.

For this year’s census, people who want to state that they do not identify as either female or male can request a paper form to mark accordingly.

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