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The census is the official count of population and dwellings in New Zealand, providing a ‘snapshot’ of our society at a point in time. The New Zealand census is taken every five years.

The 2006 Census of Population and Dwellings was undertaken on Tuesday 7 March 2006. The official time that the census was taken was midnight on that date. The 2006 Census was the thirty-second carried out and was 155 years after the first census was taken in this country.

Introduction to the Census provides an overview of the 2006 Census of Population and Dwellings. It places the survey in the context of census-taking within New Zealand, relates the census to the Programme of Official Social Statistics and places the census in an international context. Strategic directions and operational elements of the 2006 Census are summarised to provide users of census data with information on changes in process, which will enable them to better understand the data.

Introduction to the Census outlines:

  • some basic information about the 2006 Census
  • the importance of confidentiality
  • the history of census-taking
  • how the 2006 Census was planned, undertaken and processed
  • how the census data will be published and disseminated, and
  • follow-up surveys.
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