Countdown to the 2023 Census

The countdown is on to New Zealand’s next census as we welcome in the new year, Stats NZ said today.

29 December 2022

With just 66 days (from 31 December) until the official five-yearly count of New Zealand’s people and dwellings, citizens, residents, and overseas visitors are just weeks away from taking part in the 2023 Census. Census Day is Tuesday, 7 March 2023.

“The 2023 Census is the only survey we all do as a country. Not only is it the official count of people and the places we live or stay, but it provides a point in time understanding of life in Aotearoa New Zealand and how the population is faring now, and how life is changing over time,” Simon Mason, Deputy Government Statistician and Deputy Chief Executive Census and Collections Operations said.

The information collected is turned into census data that is used to make important decisions that impact every person and community.

“Iwi, community organisations, councils, businesses, and the government all make important decisions about where to fund and locate services and key infrastructure like hospitals, schools, roads, public transport, parks, and recreation facilities using data from the census,” said Mason.

For example, Nau Mai Rā, which supplies affordable power to whānau, was started when Ezra Hirawani and Ben Armstrong saw census data that showed that 130,000 families were living without power.

“There are many examples all over the country of how census data has been used to help improve the lives of Kiwis. It is so important people take part so the data from the 2023 Census truly reflects who we are as a country and the communities we are part of,” said Mason.

The census is the only way we collect information about how many people speak te reo Māori and provides data about which iwi people are affiliated to.

“Iwi use census data to understand more about their people, where they are living and how they are doing. This helps to plan for future generations and may influence how services are funded and delivered for Māori in the future,” Mason said.

For the 2023 Census there will be double the number of census collectors in communities to assist those that might need it. 

“We are making sure that it will be easier for people to take part in the next census. There will be more choice about how to take part – either online or on paper – and there will be more census collectors providing more support to people so they can complete their census forms,” Mason said.

“For the first time the census questions will be translated into New Zealand Sign Language. Braille will be available again, and questions in audio format to assist people to take part. Information about the census will be available in 29 languages, and the call centre is being set up with nine languages. 

“I encourage everyone to help make a difference and play their part in ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand gets the best possible data we can in the 2023 Census.  Tatau Tātou – All of us count.”

More information: is the official website for the 2023 Census. The website currently holds information about what the census is, about the value of data to communities, and to support people’s understanding of the safeguards Stats NZ puts in place to protect the information they provide in their census forms.

Census collectors will be in communities from 13 February 2023, when people will start to receive their census packs in the mail or delivered to their home by a census collector. People will be able to fill out their census forms as soon as they get them. They will also be able to order bilingual te reo Māori-English forms and Large Print forms if that is what they need. The aim is to ensure every person in the country has the information, formats, and support they need to take part before Census Day on Tuesday, 7 March 2023.