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2013 Census products and services

Introduction

Purpose

The paper provides an overview of the 2013 Census products and services. It includes brief descriptions of the core 2013 Census products and services, along with their intended users, or audiences.

Overview of the census

The Census of Population and Dwellings is the official count of how many people and households there are in New Zealand.

Information from the census helps determine how billions of dollars of government funding is spent in the community. Census information is used by councils, community groups, iwi, and businesses to help make decisions about which services are needed and where they should be located. These services include hospitals, kōhanga reo, schools, roads, public transport, and recreational facilities.

Statistics NZ will produce a variety of 2013 Census data and data-based products. Census products on our website will range from theme-based QuickStats, designed to be used by members of the public, to the NZ.Stat tool, which is mainly intended for a professional audience. Data support services from the Statistics NZ Information Centre, including customised requests, will continue to be available.

Our website – www.stats.govt.nz – is the main way to access data from the 2013 Census. All of our standard published census results will be available free of charge through the website.

All possible steps will be taken to ensure that products and services from the 2013 Census:

  • are consistent with what was produced from the 2006 Census
  • improve the quality and availability of existing products
  • fill gaps in the 2006 Census products and services, as identified by data users, through both existing products and a limited number of new products.

Census products and services are based on the needs of our audiences

We have taken a collaborative and user-focused approach to developing the products and services for the 2013 Census. We identified our audiences using the audience analysis methodology outlined in Content Management Bible (Bob Boiko). Knowing our audiences has allowed us to produce products and services that meet the particular needs of each audience.

To ensure consistency with products and services of the 2006 Census, the 2013 Census products and services were developed based on our 2006 audience model. We identified three broad audiences, as shown in the inverted pyramid (figure 1).

Please note that our audience model has since changed from that outlined below.

Figure 1
Statistics NZ's 2006 audience model

 Image: Statistics NZ's 2006 audience model.

The public audience is made up of all members of society who want information for their own interest or on behalf of another organisation.

The professional audience is made up of professionals in the public, private, and educational sectors who use and analyse statistics for policy-making and other high-level endeavours.

The technical audience is made up of professional and academic statisticians working in the area of statistical methodology, plus expert data users.

About half of the products and services in the 2013 Census products and services have been designed with a particular audience in mind. Other products and services are designed for more than one of these audiences because there is such wide interest.

Timing of 2013 Census information releases

The first public release of the 2013 Census data will be in October 2013. Customised data requests will be available from 3 December.

A phased release of free census data products will occur over the subsequent 18 months.

Before any census data is released to the public, we will first use it to calculate the number of Māori and general electorates. The Government Statistician will announce the number of general and Māori electorates for the next two general elections on 7 October 2013.

All information included in 2013 Census products and services will be reported in a way that makes it impossible to identify any person or household. Personal information is protected by the Statistics Act 1975 and is kept confidential by Statistics NZ.

Products we create using census data

Table products

Population and dwelling tables

Population and dwelling tables show census night populations and usually resident populations, as well as the number of occupied and unoccupied dwellings. The tables will show the populations of regional councils, territorial authorities, and area units.

The Population and dwelling tables are primarily intended for a public audience.

Census totals by topic

Census totals by topic provide national totals at the lowest (most detailed) level of the classification for key variables.

Classifications and related statistical standards has more information about classifications, including a definition, and a list of the classifications we use.

Census totals by topic is primarily intended for a public audience.

Special output geography tables

These simple tables provide key information about people in the following areas:

  • regional summary – New Zealand’s regional councils and territorial authorities
  • electorates
  • district health board areas.

These tables are primarily intended for a professional audience.

Meshblock dataset

The Meshblock dataset will contain counts starting at the smallest geographic unit for which we collect statistical data (a meshblock, which can vary in size from part of a city block to large areas of rural land) for selected variables from the 2013, 2006, and 2001 Censuses. The 2001 and 2006 data will be rebased to 2013 Census boundaries or areas.

The Meshblock dataset will contain counts for regional councils, territorial authorities, area units, and meshblocks, and can be integrated with databases or mapping systems to assist analysis and decision-making.

The Meshblock dataset is primarily intended for a professional audience.

Summary products

QuickStats

QuickStats is a series of theme-based products with simple text, graphs, and tables. There will be two types of QuickStats: QuickStats about a place and QuickStats about a subject.

  • QuickStats about a place – information about a geographic area, including regional councils, territorial authorities, and area units. QuickStats about a place will be supported in more detail in Tables about a place at regional council and territorial authority levels.
  • QuickStats about a subject – individual topic-themed products, giving a broad picture of census results. There will also be a QuickStats on national highlights, including information about Māori. QuickStats about a subject covers a number of topics including work and unpaid activities, income, culture and identity, and families and households. Tables will also accompany each topic.

The QuickStats products are primarily intended for a public audience.

Profiles

Profile products present a wide range of information on the location and social and economic well-being of the respective population groups. For 2013, profiles will be prepared for iwi and ethnic groups.

  • Iwi profiles – individual profiles will be produced for all iwi with a population of 1,000 and over in the 2013 Census who are listed in our iwi classification. In addition, 13 group profiles will be produced for selected groupings of iwi including one for people of Māori descent who did not know their iwi, did not answer the iwi question, or whose answer to the iwi question could not be classified.
  • Ethnic group profiles – will be introduced for the first time following the 2013 Census based on strong interest from different user groups. We will produce profiles for ethnic groups with a population of 3,000 or more. We will also produce profiles for each of the seven Pacific groups for which a profile was done following the 2001 and 2006 Censuses.

The profile products are primarily intended for a public audience.

Interactive tools

We will also provide access to 2013 Census data through interactive tools on our website. These tools will help you extract data on different subjects.

Interactive tools include:

  • Interactive Boundary Maps – where you can find social facts about geographic areas in New Zealand based on 2013 Census data, including numbers of people and households.
  • NZ.Stat – a web tool that has replaced Table Builder. NZ.Stat will be one of the main means of accessing 2013 Census data tables. We will provide access to tables on a number of topics at different geographic levels, including regional councils, territorial authorities, and area units. You can view, select, and download data in a range of common formats such as Excel and .csv.

The Interactive Boundary Maps are primarily intended for a public audience.

NZ.Stat is primarily intended for a professional audience.

Microdata

Confidentialised unit record files and the Data Lab

Confidentialised unit record files (CURFs) are unit record data that have been modified to protect the confidentiality of respondents while maintaining the integrity of the data. CURFs can be useful for a wide range of exploratory research.

Researchers will be able to apply for access to the 2013 Census CURF. Access is carefully controlled to ensure that data is not misused. The Data Lab provides researchers with secure computer facilities in our Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch offices. A remote-access Data Lab service will also be operating by June 2013, allowing researchers to request access to microdata at their own place of work.

Strict eligibility criteria apply and access is governed by the requirements of section 37 of the Statistics Act.

The CURF and Data Lab programme operates on a cost-recovery basis. Both services are primarily intended for a technical audience.

Customised datasets

Customised datasets are designed specifically for a particular research project. They only contain the population and variables of interest, at the level of detail requested (or granted).

We make other modifications to data in these datasets. These may include changing variables so they are comparable over time if the researcher is conducting time series analysis, or linking information from different datasets into one, such as individual and dwelling information.

Customised datasets operate on a cost-recovery basis. They are primarily intended for a technical audience.

Supporting information

Census products will be accompanied by appropriate information about the data.

Introduction to the census

Introduction to the census provides an overview of the 2013 Census of Population and Dwellings. It provides information on what to expect for census day, what happens during each phase of the census cycle, and how the census has changed over time.

Introduction to the census is a web-based product with three sections:

  1. What happens to your census forms?
  2. 2013 Census overview
  3. History of the census in New Zealand.

Introduction to the census is primarily intended for a public audience.

Information by variable

Information by variable provides definitions and other information (metadata) about each of the output variables available from the 2013 Census. Details include the definition, non-response rate, comparability with 2001 and 2006 Census data, and information about the classification.

Information by variable is primarily intended for a professional audience.

2013 Census data dictionary

The 2013 Census data dictionary provides a list of the variable information available from the 2013 Census. It represents all the 2013 Census data available. The information is categorised into parts including dwelling, household, family, personal, and geographic information.

The dictionary is primarily intended for a technical audience.

Definitions and forms

Definitions and forms provides definitions for terminology used in outputs from the census. It also provides copies of the forms from the 2013 Census (including the online form), and forms for previous censuses (where available) dating back over 100 years.

Definitions and forms is primarily intended to be used as a reference document by a professional audience.

Other products

Electoral districts and populations – information release

The information release 2013 Electoral Districts and Populations contains data about the electoral population, and the number of electorates. It consists of a media release, an information release, data tables, and a methodology paper about how electoral districts are allocated. The electoral release will be available on our website from 7 October 2013.

Following each census, the Government Statistician is required under the Electoral Act 1993 to determine the number of general and Māori electorates using census data. The Representation Commission uses this and other census information to determine the boundaries of all electorates.

The electoral release is primarily intended for a public audience.

Methodology papers

While a 'minimal change' approach was taken to the 2013 Census of Population and Dwellings, we changed some of our methods to reflect real-world change and improve data quality.

We recognised that some of these changes would impact on our users so we committed to consulting with users where appropriate and making sure we publicised decisions as quickly as possible.

Methodological papers are targeted at our technical audience – professional and academic statisticians working in the area of statistical methodology, plus expert data users.

The mathematics of electoral district allocation in New Zealand based on the outcome of the 2013 Census and the Māori Electoral Option 2013 is an example of a methodological paper to be released as a result of the 2013 Census.

These papers are primarily intended for a technical audience.

Services we provide based on census data

Information Centre / enquiries

Our Information Centre staff know what information is available and how it can best be used. Our staff act as guides to our information.

Simple queries are answered free of charge. We may have to charge you for more extensive queries, but will always give you a free no-obligation quote before progressing with any request.

Each Information Centre has a collection of Statistics NZ publications and Internet access. The publications can be browsed and copied but material cannot be borrowed.

Contact details for the Information Centre are available on our website.

The services of the Information Centre are primarily intended for a public audience.

Electoral servicing

The Electoral Act 1993 requires that all electorate boundaries be reviewed by the Representation Commission (an independent body that decides the boundaries of the general and Māori electorates).

Statistics NZ has a responsibility under the Electoral Act 1993 to calculate Māori and general electoral populations and determine the number of Māori and general electorates. Based on the latest electoral population figures, the electoral quota (the average population in an electorate) is calculated.

We also work with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and the Electoral Commission to service the Representation Commission as they redraft boundaries to meet the electoral quota. The electoral population of each electorate that the Representation Commission defines must lie within 5 percent of the electoral quota.

LINZ (for the Representation Commission) uses Statistics NZ data to calculate the provisional electorate boundaries and requests that we recalculate the electoral populations for the proposed electorate boundaries. The recalculation process is to ensure that the new electorate boundaries are within the 5 percent tolerance of the electoral quota.

After the public consultation on the proposed electorate boundaries, the Representation Commission reviews the proposed electorate boundaries and LINZ (for the Representation Commission) requests that we recalculate the electoral populations a third time so they can set the final electorate boundaries.

The audience for electoral servicing is the Representation Commission.

Audience summary table

Table 1
2013 Census products and services: Audience summary table

Product Brief product description Primary audience  Secondary audience
Table products
Population and dwelling tables Census night and census usually resident counts, as well as counts for occupied and unoccupied dwellings. Public Professional
Census totals by topic Counts at the lowest (most detailed) level of the classification for key variables. Public Professional
Special output geography tables Information about people in specific New Zealand geographical areas: regions and territorial authorities; electorates; and district health board areas. Professional Public
Meshblock dataset Counts starting at the smallest geographic unit for which we collect statistical data for selected variables from the 2013, 2006, and 2001 Censuses. Professional Technical
Summary products
QuickStats / Tables about a place Information about a geographic area, supported in more detail by Tables about a place. Public Professional
QuickStats about a subject Topic-themed products giving a broad picture of census results including a report on the national highlights. Public Professional
Iwi profiles Information on the social and economic well-being of large iwi and 13 other selected groups of iwi. Public Professional
Ethnic group profiles Information on the location and social and economic well-being of a number of ethnic groups. Public Professional
Interactive tools
Interactive boundary maps Social facts about geographic areas in New Zealand. Public Professional
NZ.Stat Web tool (replacing Table Builder) that allows users to create and download their own tables on various topics. Professional Technical 
Microdata
Confidentialised unit record files (CURF) Unit record data used for a wide range of exploratory research, and accessed through the Data Lab. Technical Professional
Customised datasets Datasets designed specifically for a particular research project. Technical Not applicable
Supporting information
Introduction to the census Outlines what happens to census forms, an overview of the 2013 Census, and history of the census in New Zealand. Public Professional
Information by variable Definitions and other information about each of the output variables. Professional Technical
Data dictionary A catalogue of the variable information available from the 2013 Census. Technical Professional
Definitions and forms Provides definitions for terminology used in outputs and copies of current and previous census forms. Professional Technical
Other products
Electoral Districts and Populations – information release 2013 Census and Māori Electoral Option 2013 data is used to calculate the number of Māori and general electorates. Public Professional
Methodology papers Provide technical information on how methodological changes were carried out for the 2013 Census. Technical Professional
Services Brief service description Primary audience Secondary audience
Information Centre / enquiries Information Centre staff will answer simple questions (free of charge) and respond to requests for more detailed information (may be a fee). Public Professional
Electoral servicing LINZ (for the Representation Commission) calculates the provisional electorate boundaries then requests Statistics NZ to recalculate the electorate populations for the proposed electorate boundaries. Representation Commission Not applicable

References

Boiko, B (2002). Content Management Bible. New York: Hungry Minds Inc.

ISBN 978-0-478-40818-8 (online)
Published 7 February 2013

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