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Options for revising the statistical standard and classification for iwi

We have grouped the key findings and options under 11 main categories (listed in the 'Sections in this chapter' box).

As a result of the research and consultation, a range of options for revising and updating the statistical standard and classification for iwi emerged. Working group members representing Statistics NZ, cross-government agencies, and Māori provided feedback on the options presented in this chapter. This feedback, together with the research and consultation findings, informed the final recommendations.

See Recommendations from the 2016 review of the statistical standard for iwi.

Explanatory note 1: The options presented below refer to the Census of Population and Dwellings. However, to reflect use of the standard beyond the census (eg in administrative collections), references to census were removed from Recommendations from the 2016 review of the statistical standard for iwi.

Explanatory note 2: We presented the options in this chapter to the working group in table format (see Appendix 2 for the original table).

Purpose and rationale for the statistical standard for iwi

Key findings about purpose and rationale for the statistical standard for iwi:

  • The current iwi standard was developed to reflect how the Crown was engaging with Māori in Treaty of Waitangi and Fisheries claims. This approach does not reflect the post-Treaty settlement environment.
  • Removing references to Treaty of Waitangi settlements and Waitangi Tribunal decisions (land ownership, fishing rights etc) would enable a more responsive approach for measuring statistics for and about Māori.
  • Update the purpose and rationale of the statistical standard to address changing data needs.

Option 1 for purpose and rationale for the statistical standard for iwi

Change the rationale to emphasise a statistical focus. Remove references to Treaty settlements, Waitangi Tribunal, and resource allocation, as these are no longer relevant in a post-Treaty settlement environment.

Positive impacts of Option 1:

  • changes the focus on the purpose for collecting the data 
  • enables a more responsive approach for measuring iwi and reflecting a post-Treaty settlement environment.

Negative impact of Option 1:

  • no identifiable impact.

Option 2 for purpose and rationale for the statistical standard for iwi

Change the rationale to emphasise a more statistical focus. Remove reference to Treaty settlements, Waitangi Tribunal, and resource allocation. Replace with rationale that reflects and acknowledges commitments as a Treaty partner.

Positive impact of Option 2:

  • enables a change in focus of the standard.

Negative impact of Option 2:

  • potential confusion that Treaty/resource is still in rationale.

Option 3 for purpose and rationale for the statistical standard for iwi

Maintain the current rationale.

Positive impact of Option 3:

  • maintains consistency in time series.

Negative impact of Option 3:

  • not able to reflect contemporary New Zealand society.

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Structure of Māori groupings classifications and standards

Key findings about the structure of Māori groupings classifications and standards:

  • The current standard and classification needs to better reflect a personal sense of belonging for Māori identity groupings. We need to ensure the concepts remain relevant. 
  • Look to expand the underlying concepts to include hapū, marae, and/or non-kinship to broaden the structure and content of the classification. 
  • Look to introduce a suite of standards and classifications under a wider framework. 
  • Investigate the viability of incorporating the Māori statistical framework. 
  • Investigate the need to review the Māori descent standard to improve linkage with the iwi standard.

Option 1 for structure of Māori groupings classifications and standards

Introduce new concepts and/or create separate standards and classifications for each identity collection via a staged approach with iwi first.

Positive impact of Option 1:

  • will lead to better quality data – more granular and detailed. There will be no confusion over which aspect of Māori group identity is being considered.

Negative impact of Option 1:

  • will require the continued work of Statistics NZ. The standard for Māori descent will need review, and development of further standards will be required. Implementation and resourcing (time and cost) will also be a factor.

Option 2 for structure of Māori groupings classifications and standards

Create all classifications under an umbrella standard.

Positive impacts of Option 2:

  • will lead to data that is more granular and extends the scope of the current standard 
  • an education strategy will be required to mitigate concerns that Statistics NZ is defining Māori identity.

Negative impacts of Option 2:

  • further classifications will need to be developed and implemented 
  • there is a high risk that Statistics NZ will be seen as defining Māori identity.

Option 3 for structure of Māori groupings classifications and standards

Continue with existing concepts and definitions but reapply these to reconfigure the classification or retain status quo.

Positive impact of Option 3:

  • least amount of work required from Statistics NZ in the immediate future; least change, therefore least impact to users and survey areas in Statistics NZ.

Negative impact of Option 3:

  • least responsive option for addressing more recognition for Māori group identity.

Option 4 for structure of Māori groupings classifications and standards

Create an umbrella standard for kinship-based classifications and a separate standard for non-kinship (which could be developed at a later date).

Positive impact of Option 4:

  • will lead to data that is more granular, and extends the scope of the current standard.

Negative impact of Option 4:

  • further classifications will need to be developed and implemented (for hapū, marae, and non-kinship); additional statistical standards will need to be developed. 

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Iwi classification criteria

Key findings for iwi classification criteria:

  • The current criteria are too rigid and do not enable evolving Māori groups to be included. 
  • Investigate whether custodianship of the standard and classification may be better placed with a more appropriate agency. 
  • A change in criteria could affect time series, particularly for the Census of Population and Dwellings. 
  • The classification is not an exhaustive list of statistically feasible (yet to be defined) iwi (iwi missing due to criteria constraint). 
  • There is a need to increase coverage and quality of iwi information (to enable release of lower-level information). Measures that may improve quality are:
    • maintaining a geographical reference to iwi (to help code iwi that are located in a number of locations) 
    • asking additional information to improve the accuracy of the iwi coding (hapū and marae). 
  • Revision of inclusion criteria of iwi standard may result in change in population of interest (iwi).

Option 1 for iwi classification criteria

Replace the classification criteria to better reflect a post-Treaty settlement environment and contemporary New Zealand society.

Positive impacts of Option 1: 

  • allows smaller/emerging iwi to be recognized 
  • meets data needs that are currently unavailable 
  • easier to apply changes to the classification and data 
  • the classification will be more reflective of the real world.

Negative impacts of Option 1:

  • change in time series because of criteria change (ie measure of what is included) 
  • potential alienation of major iwi by reversing commitments by a previous Government Statistician.

Option 2 for iwi classification criteria

Remove only the criterion stating, “In addition, Statistics NZ will consult with the larger iwi to obtain its view on the [applicant] group’s position in relation to the five criteria”.

Positive impacts of Option 2:

  • allows smaller/emerging iwi to be recognized 
  • meets data needs that are currently not being met 
  • easier to get changes applied to the classification and data.

Negative impacts of Option 2:

  • • potential alienation of major iwi by reversing commitments by a previous Government Statistician commitments
    • potential for legal challenges.

Option 3 for iwi classification criteria

Create a more collaborative and inclusive partnership with Māori to facilitate updating and maintenance of the classification.

Positive impact of Option 3: 

  • improved relationship with users and Māori.

Negative impact of Option 3:

  • dependent on funding.

Option 4 for iwi classification criteria

Maintain current criteria (including the clause stating the requirement to consult with larger iwi).

Positive impact of Option 4:

  • maintains time series.

Negative impact of Option 4:

  • least responsive option for addressing more recognition for Māori group identity.

Option 5 for iwi classification criteria

Statistics NZ relinquishes custodianship of the standard and classification.

Positive impact of Option 5:

  • the standard and classification resides with appropriate subject matter experts/agencies.

Negative impact of Option 5:

  • there is no one agency with the authority or expertise to take responsibility for cross-data ecosystem governance.

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Including hapū

Key findings for including hapū:

  • There is support to include hapū as an identity marker (in addition to iwi). Hapū connections are important for Māori people and provide a wider understanding of whakapapa. 
  • Users would like data at hapū level. 
  • Including a question on hapū may, but not necessarily, improve coding and quality of iwi data. 
  • The ability to code hapū is constrained by current survey processing systems. 
  • There is concern that the quality of hapū information is unknown. Release of information will be dependent on quality. 
  • Limited cognitive testing to date indicates respondents have a varying ability to report hapū. Including a question on hapū in the census increases respondent burden and takes up valuable space on the form.

Option 1 for including hapū

Do not include hapū question in 2018 Census and continue to develop. Aim to include hapū in another survey in the future (such as Māori well-being survey, or a household sample survey). Further investigation is required.

Positive impacts of Option 1:

  • enables concerns about data access, respondent burden, cost, and quality to be addressed 
  • allows more informed decision-making.

Negative impacts of Option 1:

  • no data from 2018 Census 
  • no granular information 
  • potential difficulty in using hapū to improve iwi coding, due to technical constraints 
  • potentially increases respondent burden in future data collections 
  • resourcing required for further work.

Option 2 for including hapū

Do not include hapū question in 2018 Census, but work with iwi and/or hapū to collect own data. Further investigation required.

Positive impacts of Option 2:

  • enables concerns about data access, respondent burden, cost, and quality to be addressed 
  • allows more informed decision-making 
  • builds a better working relationship between Statistics NZ and Māori.

Negative impacts of Option 2:

  • no data from 2018 Census
  • timeframe unknown 
  • resourcing required for further work.

Option 3 for including hapū

Do not include hapū question in 2018 Census due to concerns with quality, feasibility, and respondent burden. No further work required.

Positive impact of Option 3:

  • maintains time series.

Negative impacts of Option 3:

  • not responsive to user needs 
  • no data from 2018 Census.

Option 4 for including hapū

Include hapū question in 2018 Census to improve coding of iwi and possible release of data (at hapū level). To be the starting point for a continuous collection.

Positive impacts of Option 4:

  • responsive to users’ future needs 
  • a starting point for future hapū collection 
  • potential to improve coding and quality of other variables (eg iwi) 
  • enables granular data about Māori to be collected (and potentially released) 
  • describes Māori identity better.

Negative impacts of Option 4:

  • creates the expectation that data will be released 
  • time-series impact and feasibility unknown 
  • could adversely affect iwi information received in the census 
  • respondents have varying knowledge of hapū 
  • quality of hapū information unknown, may not be releasable.

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Including marae

Key findings for including marae:

  • There is support to include marae (in addition to iwi). Marae connections are important for Māori people and provide a wider understanding of whakapapa. 
  • Users would like data at marae level. 
  • Including a question on marae may, but not necessarily, improve coding and hence the quality of iwi information. 
  • The ability to code marae is constrained by current survey processing systems. 
  • There is concern about data quality and whether the data will be released as output. 
  • Limited cognitive testing to date indicates that respondents are able to name their marae more frequently than their hapū. Including a question on marae in the census increases respondent burden.

Option 1 for including marae

Do not include marae question in 2018 Census and continue to develop. Aim to include marae in another survey in the future (such as Māori well-being survey, or a household sample survey). Further investigation is required, including investigating the option of geospatially enabling marae.

Positive impacts of Option 1:

  • allows opportunity for further work to address concerns about data access, respondent burden, cost, and quality 
  • allows more informed decision-making before inclusion.

Negative impacts of Option 1:

  • no data from 2018 Census 
  • no granular information.

Option 2 for including marae

Do not include marae question in 2018 Census, but work with iwi/Māori to collect their own data. Further investigation is required.

Positive impacts of Option 2:

  • allows opportunity for further work to address concerns about data access, respondent burden, cost, and quality 
  • allows more informed decision-making
  • contributes to building a better working relationship between Statistics NZ and Māori. 

Negative impacts of Option 2:

  • no data from 2018 Census 
  • timeframe and funding unknown.

Option 3 for including marae

Do not include marae question in 2018 Census due to concerns with quality, feasibility, and respondent burden. No further work required.

Positive impact of Option 3:

  • maintains time series.

Negative impacts of Option 3:

  • not responsive to user needs 
  • no data from 2018 Census.

Option 4 for including marae

Include marae question in 2018 Census to improve coding of iwi and possible release of data (at marae level). To be the starting point for a continuous collection.

Positive impacts of Option 4:

  • responsive to users' future needs 
  • a starting point for marae collection 
  • potential to improve coding and quality of other variables (eg iwi) 
  • more granular data about Māori collected (and potentially released)
  • describes Māori identity better.

Negative impacts of Option 4:

  • creates the expectation that data will be released 
  • time series impact/feasibility unknown 
  • could adversely affect iwi information we receive in the census 
  • difficulty in using marae to improve iwi coding due to technical constraints 
  • increases respondent burden in the census.

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Including non-kinship groups

Key findings for including non-kinship groups:

  • Non-kinship groups play an important part of urban Māori life and offer a sense of belonging, identity, and security.
  • Information is required on non-kinship groups to capture contemporary, urban Māori groups. 
  • There is concern about the fluid nature of non-kinship groups. 
  • There is strong opposition to mixing kinship and non-kinship concepts. 
  • Limited cognitive testing to date indicates that work is required to clarify what information we require.

Option 1 for including non-kinship groups

Do not include non-kinship groups question in 2018 Census. Aim at including a non-kinship question in a future survey (such as Māori well-being survey, or a household survey). Further investigation is required.

Positive impacts of Option 1:

  • allows further work to address concerns about data access, respondent burden, cost, and quality 
  • allows for informed decision-making before inclusion in a census 
  • workable option for a new concept.

Negative impacts of Option 1:

  • no data from 2018 Census
  • no granular population information 
  • lack of data on non-kinship groups limits ability to gain a full understanding of Māori society 
  • continues traditional approach to data and does not reflect real world.

Option 2 for including non-kinship groups

Do not include non-kinship groups question in 2018 Census, but work with Māori groups to collect own data. Further investigation is required.

Positive impacts of Option 2:

  • allows further work to address concerns about data access, respondent burden, cost, and quality 
  • allows for more informed decision-making 
  • contributes to building a better working relationship between Statistics NZ and Māori.

Negative impacts of Option 2: 

  •  no data from 2018 Census 
  • timeframe and funding unknown.

Option 3 for including non-kinship groups

Do not include non-kinship groups question in 2018 Census due to concerns with quality, feasibility, and respondent burden. No further work required.

Positive impact of Option 3:

  • maintains time series.

Negative impacts of Option 3: 

  • not responsive to user needs 
  • no data from 2018 Census.

Option 4 for including non-kinship groups

Include non-kinship groups question in 2018 Census to enable collection of information on non-kinship Māori groups. 

Positive impacts of Option 4:

  • responsive to users’ future needs 
  • reflective of contemporary New Zealand society 
  • a starting point for non-kinship collection 
  • more granular data about Māori collected (and potentially released) 
  • describes Māori identity better.

Negative impacts of Option 4:

  • creates the expectation that data will be released 
  • time-series impact/feasibility unknown could adversely affect iwi information we receive in the census.

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Including rohe/location

Key findings for including rohe/location: 

  • Rohe information currently collected to aid with iwi coding. 
  • Some respondents have limited understanding of the term ‘rohe’. Cognitive testing to investigate alternative options for rohe is underway. 
  • The rohe used within the classification are not true rohe boundaries. Rohe are similar to regional council boundaries.
  • Rohe is currently not a geospatially enabled boundary. Therefore, rohe is not directly comparable with data based on geospatial boundaries. 
  • If rohe is changed to a geospatially enabled location measure (ie statistical area 1, statistical area 2, territorial authority, or regional council), it might not accurately measure the location of an iwi, hapū, or marae in a meaningful way for Māori. 
  • Statistics NZ geospatial team is currently investigating a project to map iwi boundaries, but timeframe for completion is unknown.

Option 1 for including rohe/location

Maintain the collection of rohe to support iwi coding. Continue collection of rohe to maintain time series.

Positive impacts of Option 1:

  • enables iwi that share the same name across regions to be coded 
  • maintains time series 
  • a geographic/location indicator allows iwi to access data not only about themselves but also about others in their area 
  • maintains a geographical indicator relevant to Māori.

Negative impacts of Option 1:

  • the term rohe is not well understood by respondents 
  • the current rohe classification does not reflect true iwi rohe 
  • rohe is not directly comparable to other geospatially enabled boundaries or Te Puni Kōkiri boundaries, limiting comparability across regions and agencies. 

Option 2 for including rohe/location

Change rohe to an alternative location measure and include in 2018 Census.

Positive impacts of Option 2:

  • users require iwi information and statistics at regional or low geographic levels 
  • a geographic/location indicator allows iwi to access data not only about themselves but also about others in their area.

Negative impacts of Option 2:

  • the term rohe is not well understood by respondents 
  • cognitive testing for ‘location’ is ongoing, and the respondents to date have varying responses to the question 
  • new location indicator still may not be relevant to Māori.

Option 3 for including rohe/location

Maintain rohe in 2018 Census iwi question, but continue to investigate options for change. Keep informed of Statistics NZ geospatial iwi boundary mapping project.

Positive impacts of Option 3:

  • enables iwi that share the same name across regions to be coded 
  • maintains time series 
  • a geographic or regional-type indicator allows iwi to access data not only about themselves but also about others in their area 
  • a geographic/location indicator allows iwi to access data not only about themselves but also about others in their area.

Negative impacts of Option 3:

  • The term rohe is not well understood by respondents. Rohe is not directly comparable to other geospatially enabled boundaries or Te Puni Kōkiri boundaries, limiting comparability across regions and agencies. 
  • The timeframe for completion of the project investigating mapping/alignment of geospatial boundaries with iwi boundaries is unknown.

Option 4 for including rohe/location

Delete rohe/location geospatial question from the census iwi question.

Positive impact of Option 4:

  • decreases respondent burden.

Negative impacts of Option 4:

  • iwi that share the same name across regions cannot be coded without rohe 
  • utility of rohe data is limited 
  • time series is discontinued 
  • iwi are not able to access data about themselves and others at regional level.

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Data access and capability

Key findings for data access and capability:

  • Users require lower level data. Access to lower-level data is limited by confidentiality thresholds. 
  • Some users have limited data access and analytical capabilities (due to awareness, skills, and cost). 
  • Concern over ownership of iwi and Māori data. 
  • The Statistics Act 1975 is currently being reviewed. Changes might be required with regard to the treatment of iwi and Māori information.

Option 1 for data access and capability

Work with Māori to increase analytical capabilities, to enable Māori groups to collect and analyse their own data.

Positive impacts of Option 1:

  • will increase the ability and number of Māori users able to access data 
  • data will be of greater value to new users

Negative impact of Option 1:

  • Educational resources will need to be developed and workshops delivered. The resources (time and costs) required will be based on demand.

Option 2 for data access and capability

Educate to increase awareness.

Positive impacts of Option 2:

  • will increase the ability and number of Māori users able to access data.

Negative impact of Option 2:

  • Educational resources will need to be developed. The resources (time and costs) required will be based on demand.

Option 3 for data access and capability

Review legislative constraints imposed within the Statistics Act 1975 around confidentiality.

Positive impact of Option 3:

  • may result in change of current practice – would require a full review of privacy and legal implications.

Negative impact of Option 3:

  • no identifiable negative impact.

Option 4 for data access and capability

No change to ownership and confidentiality. Data is treated the same as any other data collected by Statistics NZ.

Positive impact of Option 4:

  • no costs incurred.

Negative impacts of Option 4:

  • lack of capability and awareness of data available will continue 
  • Statistics NZ is not responsive to user needs.

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Consistency

Key finding for consistency:

  • Limited consistency across government collections. Limits data integration and comparability.

Option 1 for consistency

Promote and encourage adoption of statistical standards and classifications across government.

Positive impact of Option 1:

  • The Statistics Act 1975 already allows for the promotion of the standard. Improved standardisation across the data ecosystem.

Negative impact of Option 1:

  • Inconsistency can result in lack of data comparability.

Option 2 for consistency

Leave as is and let the Statistics Act 1975 guide.

Positive impact of Option 2:

  • More consistent collection will result in better data comparability

Negative impact of Option 2:

  • Not being responsive to users’ needs.

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Census processing

Key findings for census processing:

  • Link between Māori descent and iwi question. Currently if respondents answer ‘no’, ‘don’t know’, or do not answer the Māori descent question, the respondent is routed away from the iwi question. 
  • Analysis shows a small number of respondents record an iwi after answering no, don’t know, or leaving the Māori descent question blank. This data is not included in iwi output. 
  • Implications with regard to census mode. The respondent can see all the questions on paper forms. Online forms will automate the routing (respondents will not see all the questions – just the questions relevant to them). 
  • Changing the processing and output treatment of the data may have implications on time series (in that previous undercoverage is being included in the output), and could increase quality. 
  • Note: All responses are captured (as raw data). Statistics NZ do have the ability to identify this group in past censuses.

Option 1 for census processing

Change the routing rules (for both modes), so that Māori descent ‘yes’ and ‘don’t know’ are routed to iwi question. Also, on the paper form, a non-response in the Māori descent question and an iwi stated is included in iwi output data.

Positive impact of Option 1:

  • more accurate measurement through inclusion of respondents currently left out due to the processing system. 

Negative impact of Option 1:

  • change will result in higher counts and may affect time series.

Option 2 for census processing

Maintain current mode of collection, processing, and question routing, applying the rules to both modes (paper and online).

Positive impact of Option 2:

  • maintains time series.

Negative impact of Option 2: 

  • continued exclusion of responses that could be valid.

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Review cycle

Key finding for review cycle:

  • The statistical standard for iwi was developed in 1994 and has not been reviewed until now. The standard is dated.

Option 1 for review cycle

Review as need arises.

Positive impacts of Option 1:

  • gives users more confidence in the relevance of the standard 
  • enables Statistics NZ to be responsive to change.

Negative impact of Option 1: 

  • harder to budget and timetable.

Option 2 for review cycle

Review at a time that is more appropriate and regular to enable adoption within the census and by users across the data ecosystem.

Positive impacts of Option 2:

  • allows for budget allocation and timetabling 
  • improves real-world relevance 
  • more dynamic user contribution to change

Negative impacts of Option 2:

  • slow response to changes 
  • time-series disruptions potentially more frequent.
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