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2023 Census media release

Almost 4.5 million census forms returned – Final Notice for those who haven’t yet taken part and more support for Pacific and Māori communities

Almost 4.5 million people have returned their census forms so far, and households that have not taken part yet can expect to receive a Final Notice about the census, Stats NZ said today.

“We have received Individual Forms from the equivalent of 88 percent of the estimated population. This is a raw tally of the forms as they come in – before any data processing – but this gives us confidence we will be able to deliver quality national population data for Aotearoa New Zealand,” said Simon Mason, Deputy Government Statistician and Deputy Chief Executive Census and Collection Operations.

“Our efforts for the remaining few weeks of the 2023 Census are focused on getting those who have yet to do the census to fill out their forms, to support people in cyclone-affected areas, and continue our efforts at community events.”

Census form returns for people of Māori and Pacific ethnicity are lower than the rest of the population, equating to 72 percent and 76 percent of the estimated Māori and Pacific populations respectively.

“We are focusing effort on lifting responses from Māori and Pacific peoples, with the support of partnerships and collaborations,” said Simon Mason.

“For example, we have partnered with the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency to support completion of census forms from non-responding households in Auckland.

“We welcome the experience and knowledge of collaboration partners, especially to connect with people in communities who are more reluctant to engage directly with the government.

“This work will continue for the rest of May and into June to ensure we give every person the opportunity to contribute to the data needed for communities, iwi, businesses, and local and central government to make the decisions that affect us all.”

On 3 May, census collectors stopped visiting households, except in the Far North, and Te Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay regions where the census collection has been extended to 1 June following Cyclone Gabrielle.

Public and community organised events to support people to complete census forms continue to June.

The public 0800 CENSUS (0800 236 787) helpline will remain open until 30 June, which is the final date for the 2023 Census.

For people returning paper forms, they will need to arrive with Stats NZ by 30 June to be counted.

From today, around 55,000 Final Notice packs with new access codes and paper forms are being mailed to non-responding households.

“The Final Notice sets out the legal requirements of the census, including avoiding a fine up to $2,000 by taking part,” said Simon Mason.

“Please don’t delay – this is your last reminder. You need to return your census forms to us now.”

Note – Final Notices are not being delivered to households in Te Tairāwhiti and the Hawke’s Bay.


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