2023 Census collection extended for areas impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle

The 2023 Census will be extended for areas impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle while the rest of the country should complete the census by 7 March as planned, Stats NZ said today.

Census Tatou

27 February 2023

The 2023 Census will be extended for areas impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle while the rest of the country should complete the census by 7 March as planned, Stats NZ said today.

“Cabinet agreed today to funding an extension and amendments to the census operation to assist with delivering a successful 2023 Census in areas impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle. We welcome the additional funding to enable all parts of the country to be counted in the 2023 Census,” said Mark Sowden, Government Statistician and Stats NZ Chief Executive.

“We have worked closely with key partners including iwi-collectives leading census collection in their rohe (in Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Te Tairāwhiti) to understand community sentiment to doing the census.

“Giving people the time and space they need to respond to the devastating impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle and recent flooding is the priority, alongside producing census data that will play a critical role in the recovery of the areas impacted by the cyclone.

“Amending and extending the current census operation strikes the right balance between the needs of impacted communities and the ability to produce quality and timely census data.

“Our organisation is, fundamentally, here to help. For the impacted regions and their communities, the census can directly benefit and assist them in rebuilding their future. The data and information we collect helps decision makers across government and communities understand how to best assist, support, and service the needs of communities.”

Cyclone Gabrielle hit New Zealand during the first week of collection for the 2023 Census, causing Stats NZ to postpone activities across the North Island. The census collection resumed in the North Island from Friday 17 February where it was safe and appropriate to do so. Currently the census is being conducted as planned in areas covering around 90 percent of the population.

For the impacted areas there will be:

  • an extension of time to do the census, with on-the-ground support until 1 June 2023 where needed, and further time to complete the census online
  • amendments to how the census will be collected including more community-led initiatives to support people to participate.

“We will be working with community partners to deliver the census collection, provide mobile collection points, and are working closely with local agencies and other iwi organisations to integrate census field activities into Cyclone Gabrielle response and recovery work where it is appropriate to do so,” said Mark Sowden.

“There will also be more support for iwi collectives involved in Te Mana Whakatipu (iwi-led collection) to enable them to make amendments that will provide the best outcomes for people living in their rohe.”

Census operations for the majority of the country are proceeding as planned.

“For the rest of the country, it’s time to do the census. The information collected in the census helps us understand how people are faring, and how best to service the needs of communities," said Mark Sowden.

“I encourage everyone to do their census forms as soon as they get them. The sooner the rest of the country completes the census, the better positioned Stats NZ is to support people in affected areas to be part of census in a way that works best for them.”

Media release in New Zealand Sign Language

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