Census shambles: 700,000 Kiwis didn't complete form

Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 10 April 2019, 10:46AM
More than 700,000 people did not complete the census - the worst turn out in decades. Photo / Bevan Conley

The head of Statistics New Zealand has revealed that one in seven Kiwis did not complete last year's census – the worst turn out in decades.

Stats NZ's chief statistician Liz MacPherson yesterday wrote to MPs to confirm that more than 700,000 New Zealanders had either not participated, or not completed the census.

This comes after MacPherson had been threatened with a complaint to Speaker Trevor Mallard if she did not deliver the census information to a committee of MPs by today.

National's state services spokesperson Nick Smith told Mike Hosking the fact that so many people did not fill in the census was problematic when it comes to budget allocations.

"This leaves a huge data hole that will create problems for years in allocating tens of billions of dollars in funding for central state services like health and education, as well as affecting electorate numbers and boundaries for Election 2020."

Smith says they need to know the correct numbers to allocate funding.

"This is a period over the last five years where we have had the fastest population growth in New Zealand history. So getting the right numbers is critical."

Smith also believes the problems with Census 2018 were so bad, consideration should be given to deferring the electoral boundary changes for 2020 and bringing forward the next Census to 2021.

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