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Stats NZ seeks feedback on classification of ethnicity

Stats NZ seeks feedback on the New Zealand standard classification of ethnicity

25 November 2019

We are asking New Zealanders for their views on the New Zealand standard classification of ethnicity, Stats NZ said today.

The three-week consultation begins on Monday 25 November and ends at 5pm on Friday 13 December 2019.

Ethnicity is a key social factor used with other topics in describing the New Zealand population. Information collected on ethnicity is used to inform, plan, and evaluate services and policies by a wide range of organisations, local authorities and government agencies.

“We’ve already captured and collated some feedback from past enquiries, but we want to make sure all potential issues have been identified,” data and statistical standard manager Ashleigh Maw said.

Ethnicity is the ethnic group or groups that people identify with or feel they belong to. Ethnicity is a measure of cultural affiliation, as opposed to race, ancestry, nationality or citizenship. Ethnicity is self-perceived, and people can belong to more than one ethnic group.

Feedback from the public consultation will enable Stats NZ to examine the full extent of all issues to ensure quality and relevance.

“We’d like to have a comprehensive register of all issues associated with the ethnicity classification completed in the first quarter of next year,” Ms Maw said.

“We will then know if we need to refresh the ethnicity classification or if a full review is required.”

A primary purpose of a standard classification is to provide simplification of the real world and a useful framework for collecting and analysing data from both statistical and administrative collections.

The current classification was created in 2005. In 2017, a category refresh was undertaken prior to the 2018 Census. This consultation seeks clarification around any issues associated with this classification.

Visit Ethnicity standard classification: Consultation for more information and to make a submission.


The Government Statistician authorises all statistics and data we publish.

For more information about these statistics:

• Visit Stats NZ seeks feedback on the New Zealand standard classification of ethnicity

• See Ethnicity standard classification: Consultation


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