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2006 Census Help Services Start

2006 Census Helpline Open: February 2006

17 February 2006

2006 Census Help Services Start

Statistics New Zealand has opened its 0800 phone helpline in preparation for the 2006 Census of Population and Dwellings next month. The helpline, launched today by the Minister of Statistics, the Hon Clayton Cosgrove, will help to ensure that everyone in New Zealand takes part in the census on 7 March.

“With the launch of the helpline, we now have all of our help services in place ready for the census,” said Government Statistician Brian Pink. "The 0800 helpline is a key support for the public during the 2006 Census. We estimate it will take more than 295,000 calls by the time it closes."

The helpline – phone 0800 CENSUS (0800 236 787) – is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and operates until 31 March. It can respond to requests for information or census forms and advise how to complete census forms online. Operators are available to answer calls in eight languages: English, Mäori, Samoan, Tongan, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Hindi.

Mäori and English language help is offered 24 hours a day until 31 March, with help in the other languages available from 7:00am to 10:00pm and 24 hours a day from 6 to 8 March.

“0800 CENSUS is just one of the help services Statistics New Zealand is providing,” said Census General Manager Nancy McBeth. “We can be contacted by email from the census website or by fax.” The census website is at www.stats.census.govt.nz and the fax number is 0800 FAX CENSUS (329 236).

Other help services include printed publications for people with hearing or visual impairment.

“Statistics New Zealand has worked with the ESOL Home Tutor Scheme to develop a teaching resource to help their students understand the census; with the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind to provide audio and Braille resources for their members; and with the Deaf Association to develop a DVD, which is signed in New Zealand sign language,” said Nancy McBeth.

A curriculum-based resource for schools and publications for community organisations and youth workers have also been produced.

"Statistics New Zealand is working very closely with community groups to ensure everyone is able to take part in the 2006 Census," Nancy McBeth said. Community liaison teams are working with Mäori and Pacific communities, and 11 Kaitakawaenga (Mäori liaison officers), two Mängai Rangatahi (youth ambassadors) and 10 Pacific Liaison Officers have been taking the census message into their communities since October 2005.

The information leaflet All About the 2006 Census gives a brief overview, and explains how to take part and what happens to the information gathered by the census. It is available in English, Mäori, Cook Islands Maori, Tongan, Samoan, Niuean, Fijian, Punjabi, Hindi, Gujarati, Chinese simplified, Chinese traditional, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Khmer, German, Arabic and Farsi. This leaflet can be requested from 0800 CENSUS or from census collectors, or it may be downloaded from the census website: www.stats.census.govt.nz.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician


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