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Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions

Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions

21 August 2014

Failing to fill out a census form has resulted in the convictions of 46 people, Statistics New Zealand said today.

In July 2013, Statistics NZ wrote to 450 people asking them to complete their census forms or face prosecution. Following this, 99 cases were filed in the District Courts, resulting in 46 convictions.

“Most of the people convicted were charged with two offences: failing to fill out the individual form and the dwelling form. The fines ranged between $50 and $500 per charge,” Census Manager Gareth Meech said.

“Before prosecuting we took into consideration the type of offence, the personal circumstances of the person, and the likelihood of success. We also encouraged people to complete their census forms before going to court. Out of the 99 cases, 39 people complied with that request and subsequently their charges were withdrawn.”

“Everyone in New Zealand on census night is legally required to complete a census form. The information is used to make important decisions on which public services are needed – such as hospitals, schools, and roads – and where they should be.”

“Census and all Statistics NZ surveys depend on everyone taking part and providing accurate information. Prosecution is our last resort. Having reliable population data helps with planning and building the infrastructure that communities need to succeed, and this benefits everyone.”

After the 2006 Census, Statistics NZ filed 72 cases in the District Courts, resulting in 41 convictions.

For more information about these statistics:

• Visit 2013 Census prosecutions


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