Census on hold

Statistics Minister Maurice Williamson and  and Government Statistician Geoff Bascand have announced that the census which was due to be held on March 8 has been called off.

The decision has been made after extensive consultation.

“This is not the time to go door to door asking New Zealanders for information when they’re dealing with the aftermath of the earthquake,” Mr Williamson said.

“It’s unthinkable that we would ask this of people. It would be an unfair burden and distraction at a time when they are grieving.”

There has been extensive damage to Statistics New Zealand buildings with significant impacts on census staff.

Mr Bascand said he acknowledges the decision will have consequences for people who use the census data in their work.

“We will now investigate the feasibility of alternative options,” Mr Bascand said.

This is a sensible decision but not one without consequences.

Among those will be the re-drawing of electorate boundaries which is carried out after each 6- 5 yearly census.

4 Responses to Census on hold

  1. poneke says:

    Every five years, surely?


  2. homepaddock says:

    Five, for the census of course, I was confusing it with the electorate boundary changes every 2nd election which is six years.


  3. Pointer2 says:

    I think its a 6-yearly electorate review based on the most recent census data, which effectively means potentially re-drawn boundaries every third electoral cycle. The census occurs 5-yearly, normally, so Homepaddock is correct to say it has electoral consequences. As the boundaries were last redrawn in 2006, the decision to cancel a census this year may well mean that boundaries remain unchanged until the 2017 election, assuming no early elections. Some electorates could therefore have comparatively very high or low numbers of voters by then, as boundaries are drawn to a large extent on population data, with some small allowances for geography.


  4. scrubone says:

    It’s going to screw up a whole lot of long term stats taken of the country, dpf will be crying himself to sleep tonight 🙂

    One wonders if it can’t be postponed just a few months, but we’ll see I guess.


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