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More Household Economic Survey data and information

Reliability of survey estimates

The HES survey sample contains about 5,000 private households. Households are sampled from rural and urban areas throughout New Zealand on a statistically representative basis, and information is obtained for each household member.

Two types of error are possible in estimates based on a sample survey: sampling error and non-sampling error.

Sampling error can be measured, and quantifies the variability that occurs by chance because a sample rather than an entire population is surveyed. A non-sampling error is very difficult to measure, and if present can lead to biased estimates. Statistics New Zealand endeavours to minimise the impact of these errors through the application of best survey practices and monitoring of known indicators (eg non-response).

Sampling errors are calculated for each published cell. In general, the sampling errors associated with subnational estimates (eg breakdowns by broad regional group) are larger than those associated with national estimates.

Data suppression and confidentiality rules

The following rules apply to all HES tables (including those in NZ.Stat):

Data with a sample error in the range 21 to 50 percent of the estimate is marked with an asterisk (*). Caution should be used when interpreting these estimates.

Estimates are suppressed for confidentiality and quality reasons if sampling errors are 51 percent or greater, or if fewer than five households contribute to the cell.

For more about sampling error, contact the Standard of Living team.

Is customised data available?

We charge for customised:

  • Purchaser profiles
  • Storetype profiles
  • Household profiles

Statistics New Zealand cannot anticipate every customised profile that a customer could request. Therefore these profiles are chargeable customised jobs, and, as such, subject to data quality restrictions.

For more information, contact our Information Centre staff on 0508 525 525 or email info@stats.govt.nz. Our hours are 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

Can I get data for my city/town?

Details of expenditure by group and subgroup is provided in NZ.Stat, broken down by regional council area (for Auckland, Wellington, and Canterbury) and for the grouped regional council areas – Rest of the North Island and Rest of the South Island. Due to the design of this survey it is not possible to break the data down to smaller geographical areas.

Can I get specific product brand information?

Statistics New Zealand does not collect information on names of specific brands, retail outlets, or service providers.

Where can I find out more about HES?

Our HES landing page has more information about HES.

If you have any questions about HES or customised data, contact our Information Centre staff on 0508 525 525 or email info@stats.govt.nz. Our hours are 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

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