Census causing hiccups for hundreds

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

Tonight is census night and still, there are concerns about the number of people who are having online difficulties nor have they received an access code.  The elderly, disabled and youth seem to be particularly at risk of being left out.

The big question from the former Minister of Statistics is what's the use of the Census if there are issues completing it?

“If we don't have significant sectors of our society and community counted,” said National MP, Scott Simpson.

“Then we can't actually rely on the data that the Census is designed to achieve. And why that's important because governments make spending decisions based on Census information and data.”

There are concerns that if people are unable to complete the Census, important information will be missed. However, Statistics NZ maintains this is the best process.

“This is the best process to attain those stats of our Māori people to see their living conditions,” said Senior Māori Census advisor, Luke Crawford.

“Where they are? Their schooling and education and at what level they're achieving, as well as other information.”

Every five years a Census is taken. In 2013 the Census cost $100Mil. How much will this Census cost?

“We are seeking those stats to find out how we can help those living here,” said acting Prime Minister, Kelvin Davis.

“Who are the groups needing assistance from the government and how the government should distribute those resources to support them.  Any areas of difficulty where we should help.”

Regardless of the hiccups, Statistics NZ is continuing with their online Census process, although they are aware that many people still haven't received their Census forms.

1.8mil people have completed their Census online.