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Preface

Thank you for taking the time to get involved in the consultation process for the 2018 Census.

The census is the official count of population and dwellings in New Zealand, providing a vital ‘snapshot’ of our society every five years. The information gathered through a national census is critical to making informed decisions and investment in a wide range of public services.

Ensuring the information we capture reflects real-world changes and maintains relevance is an important part of the census. Your input into how the census is designed is critical.

Statistics New Zealand is committed to ensuring that the 2018 Census reflects the information needs of our customers. While there is scope for change, factors such as the complexity of the questionnaire and statistical quality must also be considered. It is likely that the greatest change will occur within existing topics. This will improve data quality and meet the core information needs of our customers.

The ability to measure change and identify trends across decades is a valuable aspect of the census. Ensuring we retain this ability means most topics will remain unchanged. Topics that have become (over time) less relevant, however, will be reassessed.

The consultation process will give each submission due consideration. However, it is not feasible to meet all needs and requests for content change. The Statistics Act 1975 requires that final decisions on content rest with me as Government Statistician.

As the census is one of a range of data sources, this report also includes information about additional data sources such as survey and administrative data.

I encourage you to share your views through our online engagement tool and also invite you to make a formal submission. You can find information on how to do this within this report.

By sharing your views, you are helping ensure the 2018 Census is of the highest value to New Zealand.

Liz MacPherson
Government Statistician

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