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Years since arrival in new zealand


'Years since arrival in New Zealand' is the length of time up to census day in completed elapsed years (including any intervening absences, whether temporary or long term) since a respondent who was born outside of New Zealand, first arrived to live in New Zealand as a permanent or long-term resident.

Relationship to questionnaire(s)

Data on years since arrival in New Zealand is derived from question 10 on the individual form (PDF 395kb).

Subject population

The subject population is the people, families, households or dwellings to whom the variable applies.

The subject population for this variable is the overseas born census usually resident population.

Non-response rate

The 2006 non-response rate was 3.8 percent.

The 2001 non-response rate was 5.2 percent.

Quality Management Strategy priority level

Years since arrival in New Zealand is a supplementary variable.

The Census Quality Management Strategy assigns a priority level to all census variables.

Supplementary variables do not fit directly in with the main purpose of a census, but are still of importance to certain groups. These variables have third priority in terms of effort and resources.

All data must meet minimum quality standards in order to make it suitable for use.

Comparability with 1996 and 2001 Census data

There are no issues affecting the comparability of this data with 1996 and 2001 Census data.

Comparability with other data

Limited comparison is possible between census data and migration data collated by Statistics NZ.

As the census data on years since arrival in New Zealand only applies to overseas-born people, comparisons between census and migration data require permanent and long term (PLT) migration data by birthplace. However, the capture of birthplace data for arrivals ceased in November 1987 and was only resumed in July 2000. Therefore, some comparisons would be possible only for those arriving one to five years ago, or more than 18 years prior to the 2006 Census.

It should also be noted that only limited comparisons would be possible, as the migration data does not take account of net category movement (the result of people who actually stay for a longer or shorter time than they declare on the arrival card), migrants who die, and those who subsequently leave New Zealand. The migration data can give an indication of how the years since arrival distributions vary for the different birthplace groups, but should not be used to compare absolute numbers.

Significant issues

There are no significant issues that users should be aware of.

Other things to be aware of

  • There are some inconsistencies between years since arrival in New Zealand when cross-tabulated with 'usual residence five years ago' and 'years at usual residence'. The main cause of these inconsistencies is respondent error.
  • here were also cases where rounding discrepancies led to a difference of one year between the response for the years at usual residence and the response for years since arrival variables. Responses to the variables age and years since arrival in New Zealand were edited to ensure consistency. Where the response to years since arrival in New Zealand was greater than age, the response for years since arrival in New Zealand was classified as 'unidentifiable'.
  • All census data was subject to considerable checks (including edits) during processing and evaluation, to ensure that it meets quality standards and is suitable for use. These checks were applied to data supplied both on paper and on Internet forms. In addition to these quality checks, the Internet form had built-in editing functionality that directed respondents to the appropriate questions and ensured that their responses were valid. As a result of this, data from Internet forms may be of higher overall quality than data from paper forms. The significance of this will depend on the particular type of analysis being done.
  • There were differences between how the forms were completed on the Internet and on paper for this variable:
    • If respondents marked 'New Zealand' for the birthplace question on the Internet, the year of arrival in New Zealand question was greyed out, so the respondent could not answer it unless they changed their answer to the birthplace question.
    • On the Internet, there were range and date checks on this field. If the date entered on the Internet form was impossible, (eg 88 for the month or 1685 for the year), a message popped up to alert the respondent and they had to change their response. Responses outside the valid range were possible when forms were completed on paper.
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