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Modernising Census – Stats NZ

From today, members of the public can have their say on what Aotearoa New Zealand’s census could look like in the future.

Stats NZ is exploring greater use of administrative data (data already collected by other government agencies) supplemented by survey information and bespoke solutions, to deliver the census from 2028 and beyond.

“The data landscape is changing. Traditional census collection models with a large-scale field workforce are becoming unsustainable in terms of the survey burden on people, the timeliness of delivering data and statistics, and the cost pressures associated with a full field enumeration census,” explains Government Statistician and Stats NZ Chief Executive Mark Sowden.

“There is an opportunity to modernise how we collect data and to continue to deliver value for money to the country.

“The people of Aotearoa New Zealand want more and new data that is relevant to their daily lives, and they want it faster. We need to make use of new technology and data sources if we’re going to meet the needs and expectations of Aotearoa New Zealand in a sustainable way,” says Sowden.

Anyone can make a submission from 12pm today, Wednesday 8 May until 5pm Wednesday 18 June 2024 by visiting the Stats NZ website

The consultation document, ‘Modernising our approach to the 2028 Census’ includes information about the opportunities and challenges of changing our approach to the census, as well as a series of questions we invite people to respond to. The document is available in a range of different formats and languages including Easy Read, braille, te reo Māori and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL).

Making a decision

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Following public consultation, an independent evaluation panel will provide advice to the Government Statistician on an approach to the 2028 Census and beyond.

“The panel’s evaluation will be informed by consultation submissions, as well as feedback and insights from the in-depth engagement which will continue with iwi and Māori, government and non-government agencies, and key communities,” explains Stats NZ General Manager – Customers and Partnerships Sean Broughton.

The preferred approach will be presented to Cabinet for consideration later in the year. Stats NZ will then focus on the detailed design of the new approach to census in continued collaboration with key customers, partners and communities. There will also be a second round of public consultation, seeking more detailed feedback, in 2025.

“We’re committed to continuing work with our customers, partners, stakeholders, and the public through the detailed design process so that we can fully understand how their data needs can be met," Broughton says.

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