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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Feedback sought on sex and gender identity review – Media release

2 July 2020

New Zealanders are being asked for their views on how sex and gender should be thought about and measured to reflect our diverse society, Stats NZ said today.

Public consultation for the review of the statistical standards for sex and gender identity will begin on Thursday 2 July and end at 5pm on 13 August 2020.

“We are conducting a review of its sex and gender identity statistical standards,’’ deputy government statistician and deputy chief executive of insights and statistics Rachael Milicich said.

“The review will evaluate the current standards to determine what updates are required to enable best practice guidance for collecting information on these topics across the data system.”  

The review is driven by unmet information needs, issues we have identified with existing standards and significant community interest. Issues with the existing statistical standards include their ability to adequately reflect transgender and intersex people. We have convened a group of topic experts to advise on the review (see Reviewing the statistical standards for sex and gender for the terms of reference for that review). Guidance is being sought on how to best collect this information in New Zealand by other government agencies, and more widely.

“Our job at Stats NZ is to reflect society in all its diversity. We are committed to improving the way we record and present information on sex and gender identity to ensure it is inclusive and meets information needs. We acknowledge more cohesive work needs to be undertaken to ensure the updated standards reflect New Zealand’s society in all its diversity,” Ms Milicich said.

National statistics offices around the world are facing similar challenges with how to best collect information on these concepts. We are learning from the approach taken by some of these agencies to inform our review. This is an area with evolving societal and cultural understanding, and language. We need an approach that will be flexible, enduring, and suitable for the context of Aotearoa New Zealand. The updated standards will inform future Stats NZ collections, including the household surveys and next census.

We encourage you to make a submission, see Sex and gender identity statistical standards: Consultation.