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Census 2018 – Heads should roll, incompetence reigns


The New Zealand Maori Council has poured scorn on Statistics New Zealand for what is turning out to be an embarrassing waste of resources, money and planning when it comes to the 2018 Census.

“The New Zealand Census is one of the most important things any Government can do when it comes to understanding what is happening right across New Zealand life from our homes and businesses to our communities. It is a snap shot of how we live, work and play. More importantly it enables Government to fund programs and invest in service delivery.” Said Matthew Tukaki, Council Spokesperson.

“So how is it that Statistics New Zealand could get things to a point where not only has the Census data been delayed but can someone please explain why more than an estimated 10% didn’t respond?” Tukaki said
“When it comes to Maori there is a mountain of building evidence that is telling us that many people in rural, regional and remote communities didn’t even get a visit from anyone on Census night and why is that? Because the Agency relied heavily on the latest technology and probably assumed that everyone had a quality internet connection. But here is the thing – we know that there are a number of communities that don’t have connectivity and we know that many of those communities are heavily Maori populated.” Tukaki said

“This is a disgrace because the data runs the risk of telling a story that is neither accurate or true. It gives public servants the ability to paint a picture that because there was no or little response from some of these Maori communities that no one lives there and therefore its perfect excuse to withdraw services.” Tukaki said.

“Now we find out that not only was the whole thing a bit of a debacle but we could be dealing with heavily corrupted data sets that mean once again Maori will be left out. Well its just not good enough and to be frank, once Statistics New Zealand have sorted things out heads should roll. We should never be afraid to call unelected public servants to account for incompetence.” Tukaki said

Mr. Tukaki will be asking for an independent review of the Census and has also said Statistics New Zealand should be hauled before Parliament to explain where things have gone run. He also said that Maori need to be given confidence that they have not been left out. Tukaki has said that if things are that bad the Government should consider calling the Census again.

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