‘Digital first’ Census – help everyone’s voice be heard

6 March is Census DayThe next census is on 6th March 2018, when everyone in New Zealand will be asked to do their part to build a snapshot of the people and places that make up our country.

It’s NZ’s first ‘digital first’ census

For the first time, the census is ‘digital first’, aiming to collect 70% of the information online. Unlike previous censuses, Census officers will not visit all dwellings to remind or help people fill in their census forms.

But what of  the 20% of New Zealanders who don’t – or rarely – use the internet?  How will they be fully included? –  especially as such people are often heavy users of government services and the census helps determine how billions of dollars of government funding is spent?

The Census is also a key source of demographic information for 20/20 and other community service focused organisations, vital for planning programmes and tracking progress towards full digital inclusion.

1: Call 0800 23 67 87 for paper forms

The Census letters have, as well as the online links and codes, a free phone number 0800 23 67 87  for requesting paper forms to be posted, and a FreePost envelope to return them in.

2: Census help for those offline; maximising the number of returns

The Census team is paying special attention to dwellings and communities most likely to not have the internet and many of them will be visited to be given paper forms and offered help. Some community organisations, including Seniornet for people over 50, will be offering facilities and advice. All libraries have been sent information links to help them with census enquiries.

Also, every dwelling that does not use the on-line forms by Census day will be visited and offered paper forms and help.

3: Please spread the word and offer your help

Census staff have asked that we spread the word about Census so you can also offer help and encouragement to family, friends, clients etc. to fill in their forms, whether on paper or online. We are pleased to do so, and very keen that everyone’s voice is included.

Here is the links and information: 

On the Census website, there is a general Help page and the How can I do the census? page which includes the following resources:

  • A step-by-step guide explaining how to use the access code to complete the census
  • Flyers explaining why the census is important in Māori, Tongan, Samoan, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Hindi and Korean.
  • Instructions on how to order bilingual paper census forms in te reo Māori. (Note that you can take part in the census online in either English or Te Reo Māori)

If you’d like to post about the census on social media, Census staff can see and like your posts if you use the hashtag #2018Census. There are also digital images you can use if you follow the log in instructions here: http://filetransfer.stats.govt.nz/

Census also have a Community support page with the following resources for people who may need extra help filling out the census:

Please note that for people who are blind or sight-impaired, the online census forms have been built to work with screen readers and assisted technology. If people are unable to complete the census by themselves, or with the support of a family member, friend or carer, then field teams will follow up after census day to assist people to complete.

The census provides a wealth of information for the country to understand more about the people who live in New Zealand and to help make good decisions about where services are needed. Your help spreading the word is really appreciated.

Download sample Census forms

Download Dwelling Census Form (pdf, 734 KB)

Download Census Form Guide (pdf, 689 KB)

Download Dwelling Census Form Te Reo (pdf,  863 KB)

Download Individual Census Form  (pdf, 777 KB)

Download Individual Census Form Te Reo (pdf,  KB)