Four million milestone reached for 2023 Census

Over four million people have returned their Individual Forms for the 2023 Census, Stats NZ said today.

Census Collectors outside dwelling

31 March 2023

Over four million people have returned their Individual Forms for the 2023 Census, Stats NZ said today.

“This is a great milestone. We didn’t hit this milestone until 30 April in the 2018 Census. I would like to thank everybody who has been counted so far,” said Simon Mason, Deputy Government Statistician and Deputy Chief Executive for Census and Collection Operations.

“We still have a way to go though, to ensure every community is fairly represented in this census. We have yet to hear from one in five people, and for people of Māori and Pacific descent, that’s two in five people.

“The census is critically important to every community, and everyone needs to take part. Census collectors will be out in communities until 3 May to collect census forms, and support people to complete their forms and be counted.”

People in areas impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle have been given more time to complete the census, including through locally led events and on-the-ground support to 1 June if needed.

“By doing the census, people contribute to an understanding of what communities need,” said Simon Mason.

“The census is critically important as the information collected ensures services like hospitals, schools, public transport, roads, water, and internet connectivity are funded appropriately. It is a numbers game. The census is the official count of people living in Aotearoa New Zealand, and any community that doesn’t count all its people will always be disadvantaged in population-based decisions.

“The 2023 Census has been designed to address the issues of the 2018 Census so everyone can take part. This includes the choice of doing the census online or on paper, more census collectors, more assistance to do the census, more alternate formats, and language support.

“It is time to do your census forms if you haven’t already. Please check with your whānau and friends to help them to do their census and have conversations about why it is important. If you want to understand why it is important to take part, talk to people in your own community.”

Participation in the five-yearly census is a legal requirement under The Data and Statistics Act 2022.

If you do not have a paper census form or an access code, call the helpline on 0800 CENSUS (0800 236 787) or go online at The helpline can answer questions about the census, forms, and access codes. 

Information about face-to-face support to answer questions and for help to get census forms completed is available at

A family member, friend, caregiver, support person, or trusted neighbour could also help complete census forms. Or people can call the helpline and ask for a census collector to visit. 

People need to mail their paper forms to Stats NZ. They can call 0800 CENSUS (0800 236 787) if they need a census collector to pick them up. 

There is information for people in a range of languages and other formats (New Zealand Sign Language, Braille, Easy Read, Large Print, and Audio) to ensure everyone has what they need to take part and be counted in the 2023 Census.   

Keep up to date with census media releases at:

More information on the 2023 Census is available at and