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2018 Census

The 2018 New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings will take place on Tuesday 6 March 2018. The census is the official count of how many people and dwellings there are in New Zealand.

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

Our next census

The next census will be different. Before census day, most households will be sent a letter with a unique access code, so that they can respond online. In some parts of the country, we’ll still deliver census packs, but all households will be able to take part online in 2018.

Paper forms will still be available for those who prefer them.

2018 Census regional tour – North Island

Stats NZ Tatauranga Aotearoa is coming to your region to bring together people from key organisations and talk about the 2018 Census. See 2018 Census regional tour for details.

2018 Census report on final content

We have undertaken a comprehensive review of content to ensure the 2018 Census reflects the information needs of our customers. Our review has included looking at how previous questions performed, doing a stocktake of what the data is used for and who uses it, and considering international trends. We have consulted widely with our customers, stakeholders, and the New Zealand public. For further information on content consultation and a summary of feedback received see the review on 2018 Census content section below.

2018 Census report on final content outlines the decisions of the Government Statistician on the content to be included in the 2018 Census of Population and Dwellings.

2018 Census data quality management strategy

A key 2018 Census strategic goal is to ‘improve data quality while modernising’. To achieve this we need to ensure that quality is understood and built into every census process, particularly because we are changing many of our processes to improve the efficiency and the effectiveness of the 2018 Census. 

2018 Census data quality management strategy outlines how we will ensure key census data quality needs are met and outputs are ‘fit for purpose’.

Census tests

To prepare for the next census in 2018, we have run three public tests to check our systems and processes.

See 2018 Census testing programme to find out more about the tests we have run in 2016 and 2017.

2018 Census strategy

2018 Census strategy sets out the strategic direction for the 2018 New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings. The strategy will focus our efforts, and guide our work programme and outputs for the 2018 Census in order to meet the needs of our customers.  

Review on 2018 Census content


2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from engagement and consultation (published December 2015)
This report summarises the feedback we received about the Preliminary view of 2018 Census content.

Discussion forum closed

The discussion forum about 2018 Census content is now closed although discussions can still be viewed.

View the 2018 Census discussion forum 

2018 Census preliminary view of content

Preliminary view of 2018 Census content explains our initial thinking about content for 2018 Census. We published the preliminary view in preparation for public submissions on 2018 Census content. We accepted submissions from 18 May until 3 July 2015.

Updated 24 November 2017

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