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Census Consultation Closing Soon – Stats NZ

There’s one week to go to have your say on the approach for the next census.

Stats NZ is seeking public feedback on changing its approach to the 2028 Census and beyond. It’s an opportunity for people to tell us what works well and what hasn’t worked well and how the census could serve them better in the future.

The census affects everyone living in Aotearoa New Zealand because it helps planning and funding for everything from infrastructure like roads, hospitals, and schools to community and iwi-led services.

“Modernising the census is about delivering better data for New Zealanders for less effort by New Zealanders,” says Government Statistician and Stats NZ Chief Executive Mark Sowden.

“In 2018 and 2023, Stats NZ surveyed every household on census night, then filled in the information gaps with administrative data already collected by government agencies. In the future, we’re looking at flipping that and using administrative data first, then filling in the gaps with surveys. We also want to explore tailored approaches, which could include working in partnership with Māori and priority communities to design new ways of collecting data,” Sowden says.

“New digital technologies, along with societal changes, and increasing costs demand that we do the census differently. We’re open to all ideas that will help us deliver quality data in a timely and sustainable way.

“An alternative approach to the census will help decision makers better meet the rights, needs and aspirations of iwi and Māori partners and Aotearoa New Zealand’s increasingly diverse communities.”

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Anyone can make a submission by visiting the Stats NZ website at www.stats.govt.nz/future-census and completing the feedback form. Consultation closes at 5pm, Wednesday 18 June 2024.

Next steps

Following public consultation, an independent evaluation panel will provide advice to the Government Statistician, informed by public consultation submissions, as well as feedback from engagement with iwi and Māori partners, government and non-government agencies, and key communities.

The Government Statistician will recommend a preferred approach for the next census to Cabinet for consideration later this year.

Subject to Cabinet endorsement, Stats NZ will then start the detailed design of the new approach, in collaboration with iwi and Māori partners, key data users, and diverse communities with specific data needs.

There will be a second round of public consultation, seeking more detailed feedback, in 2025.

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