Elvis Lopeti lends a hand to 2023 Census education campaign for children and young people

A 2023 Census education campaign for students is being brought to life by dancer and entertainer Elvis Lopeti, Stats NZ said today.

Schools Toolkit Header

9 February 2023

The 2023 Census Teacher’s Toolkit is available online from today and includes a lesson plan, an activity pack, and the opportunity for classes to win a $100 stationery voucher by developing their own Class Census.

Registrations opened a week ago and already around 700 schools have signed up to receive the toolkit.

Adding a slice of fun and entertainment to the education campaign is a video featuring former Celebrity Treasure Island finalist Elvis Lopeti in a school dancing his way through a class talking about the census. Elvis flew in from the United States to film the videos at Waiau Pa School in Pukekohe.

“This is an exciting campaign and one we know will make it fun for tamariki and rangatahi to learn about the census,”  Simon Mason, Deputy Government Statistician and Deputy Chief Executive Census and Collections Operations, said.

“It is fantastic to see that so many of our schools have already signed up to receive the 2023 Census Teacher’s Toolkit. We, of course, want every school across the country to be part of it. We hope the excitement about the census in classrooms will spill over into homes across the country and encourage all whānau to take part in the 2023 Census.”

Former youth worker and now census community engagement advisor for Te Wai Pounami South Island, Silivelio Fasi helped develop the toolkit and said it would be a real asset to teachers and schools.

“It is a really great opportunity to educate and connect our tamariki and rangatahi to the value of the census in a way they can relate to and easily understand,” Silivelio Fasi said.

Lopeti, who is in the United States choreographing the dance routine for superstar Rihanna’s performance at the Superbowl, agreed.

“It was great fun to be part of this really important kaupapa. Getting tamariki and rangatahi involved in the 2023 Census will benefit us all in the future. I mean who knows, sitting in one of those classrooms could be a future Royal Family Dance Crew member or maybe even a Prime Minister,” Elvis Lopeti said.

The 2023 Census Teacher’s Toolkit will be available in English, Te Reo Māori, and nine Pacific languages. It has been developed by Stats NZ with teachers, tamariki, and rangatahi, and reflects connections to culture, values, and community. The toolkit aligns with Level 2 and 3 social studies curricula.

View and download Teacher's Toolkit

2023 Census Teacher's Toolkit: Census 101 with Mr (Elvis) Lopeti – YouTube

Download the 2023 Census Teacher's Toolkit

More information

Keep up to date with census media releases at www.census.govt.nz/2023-census-news. 

More information on the 2023 Census is available at www.census.govt.nz and www.stats.govt.nz/2023-census.