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Government Statistician Welcomes Announcement

9 May 2002

Government Statistician Welcomes Announcement Of Free Access To 2001 Census Data

Government Statistician Brian Pink welcomed the announcement today by the Minister of Statistics, the Hon Laila Harré, that access to one of Statistics New Zealand's largest statistical databases is to be made available free to all New Zealanders.

Laila Harré, speaking at the Founders Memorial Theatre, Hamilton, earlier today, told Waikato Institute of Technology social science graduates that "this is a major government initiative and the availability of this information will assist a broad range of communities throughout New Zealand in both their planning and decision making. It also is also part of the e-government strategy to provide open and equitable access to government information."

Mr Pink said that for previous censuses, users whose needs could not be met from the published results had to pay for expensive software to access very detailed census data and this limited its use to those who could afford it. Alternatively they used the customised data services provided by Statistics New Zealand on a cost recovered basis.

The new, free service that provides online access to census information uses a product known as 'Census Table Builder', which will be available via the Statistics New Zealand website: www.stats.govt.nz. Census Table Builder will be available for use from late May 2002. The product uses software supplied by Beyond 20/20 Inc, which is based in Ottawa, Canada (www.beyond2020.com).

Census Table Builder allows users to build tables based on census data that is specific to their information needs. The table building facility can pull information from over 300 census databases and, where applicable, can provide comparative information from the 1996 and 1991 Censuses.

People will be able to build tables based on geographical area (regional councils, territorial authorities, wards and area units, ie suburbs and small towns), ethnic group, age, gender, educational qualifications, income and employment, and a wide range of census information. For more information see the Statistics New Zealand website Table Builder - Census 2001

Mr Pink thanked all people in New Zealand for their cooperation in completing the census questionnaires. "Your input provides governments, communities, businesses and individuals with an essential resource. The provision of this new, free service is one significant way of thanking individual New Zealanders for making the census a success," said Mr Pink.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

END

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