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New Zealand to Get More Robust Official Statistics

20 May 2004

New Zealand to Get More Robust Official Statistics

This Budget announcement of increased funding to Statistics New Zealand is a clear signal of the growing importance of official statistics in a modern society, Government Statistician Brian Pink said today. He welcomed Statistics Minister John Tamihere¡¦s announcement of a $70 million increase in funding over four years as a vote of confidence in Statistics New Zealand¡¨ which would position the organisation to take on a stronger leadership role in the provision of official government statistics.

"Statistics New Zealand is pleased to take on the challenge of working in partnership with other government agencies to produce a more robust system of official statistics. This additional funding will allow Statistics New Zealand to take up a stronger leadership role."

Budget 2004 includes $14 million of funding which will enable: definition of the key statistics that are performance measures of New Zealand as Tier 1 statistics establishment of an advisory committee independent of Statistics New Zealand, to advise non the quality and relevance of the system of official statistics establishment of an Official Statistics Research and Data Archive Centre that will ensure the retention of official data as an enduring national resource and facilitate provision of greater access to researchers to micro data improved knowledge of, and access to, statistics across the whole-of-government, and introduction of a range of other initiatives to monitor and manage survey-taking across government.

"I am also pleased that an additional $22.5 million over the next four years, starting in 2005/06, has been made available to coordinate and develop a whole-of-government programme of official social statistics to guide planning and investment decisions, and associated research and evaluation activity," Brian Pink said. "This will involve collaboration with key social sector and policy agencies, particularly the Ministry of Social Development.

"A further $20 million will be used to improve census collection for the 2006 Census, including an Internet option for New Zealanders in filling in the census.

"There is also an allocation for measuring business performance, by linking Statistics New Zealand's business information with employer and employee administrative data, and funding to measure the impact of voluntary and unpaid work on households, allowing use of this data in preparation of Gross Domestic Product figures.

"Statistics New Zealand will work alongside other government agencies that produce official statistics, and with researchers and users of statistics to ensure that New Zealand¡¦s system of official statistics exemplifies best practice."

ENDS

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