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New Zealanders' Views on Statistics Considered

User Conference: October 2005

New Zealanders' Views on Statistics Considered

The views of New Zealanders who use, or could use, statistics are being considered in a conference in Wellington next week. Speakers will include a former Australian government statistician, academics, a taxi driver, a school student and a range of researchers.

The Key Statistics user conference, held every five years and hosted by the Government Statistician, is being held at Te Papa from 25 to 27 October, and will have more than 200 delegates from universities, businesses, community groups and government agencies.

This conference will highlight Statistics New Zealand's role in leading New Zealand's Official Statistics System and will enable users to share expertise, hear about the latest trends in the statistical world, and debate the nature and use of statistics.

Government Statistician Brian Pink is looking forward to the conference. "Statistics are a hugely valuable resource for all New Zealanders, and it is important to hear a range of views from those who use statistics, so all government agencies who produce official statistics can use that knowledge to shape the future delivery of statistics," he said.

Highlights include a panel of expert statistical users sharing the stage with a Wellington taxi driver and a college student. Each will offer their viewpoint on the use and relevance of statistics.

Opening day will see the launch of the 2006 Census questionnaires. Other events include the launch of the cross-government statistical web portal Statisphere by the Advisory Committee on Official Statistics chair, David Caygill, and an update on international trends and developments in statistics by Bill McLennan, former head of Britain’s and Australia’s offices of national statistics.

Speakers on environmental statistics from Ireland and Australia are also presenting.

The conference is preceded by a Data Integration Seminar looking at critical issues in making the best use of existing data. This will be attended by more than 80 New Zealand and overseas experts.

Running alongside the official programme will be a session for schoolchildren. "Statistics are Fun" will see a group of 8–9-year-old Wellington students participate in activities, including making giant graphs to tell their own statistical stories.

For further information and a detailed programme for the Key Statistics 2005 Conference, go to: www.stats.govt.nz.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician


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