There is still time to complete the census If you do not have what you need to take part, you do not need to wait for us. You can get an access code sent to you by SMS text message. If you have any questions, please call us on 0800 CENSUS (0800 236 787).

Who needs to do the census Me whakakī au i te tatauranga

A census form needs to be completed for every person who was in the country on Census Night, Tuesday 7 March 2023.

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The census counts: 

  • all the people who are in Aotearoa New Zealand on the night of Tuesday 7 March 2023, whether they live here permanently or not 
  • all the dwellings in Aotearoa New Zealand that are occupied on the night of Tuesday 7 March 2023. Dwellings are the places where those people are living or staying

That means: 

  • each dwelling that is occupied on census night needs to complete a Dwelling Form 
  • each person needs to complete an Individual Form, or have one completed on their behalf. For example, adults can fill out census forms for children or babies.

The census counts people: so an Individual Form must be completed for every person who was in Aotearoa New Zealand on census night 

This includes: 

  • New Zealand citizens 
  • New Zealand permanent residents 
  • people staying in New Zealand for any reason. 

This is a legal requirement under the Data and Statistics Act 2022.

Learn more about the legal requirement

The census counts the places where people live or stay (dwellings): so a Dwelling Form must be completed for every dwelling in Aotearoa New Zealand that was occupied on census night

Dwellings are the places people live or stay. They can be private dwellings, or non-private dwellings.

  • Private dwellings are places where households live. Common types of private dwellings are houses, townhouses, flats, units, and apartments.
  • Non-private dwellings include places like hotels, hostels, hospitals, and retirement homes. They are places that provide temporary or communal accommodation.

The census counts people and dwellings in Aotearoa New Zealand. What counts as “Aotearoa New Zealand”?

For the purposes of the census, Aotearoa New Zealand includes all islands and waters within the Realm of New Zealand (excluding Tokelau, the Ross Dependency, and the self-governing states of the Cook Islands and Niue).

This means that people who were on boats or ships in New Zealand waters on the night of Tuesday 7 March 2023 need to do the census, as well as everyone on land.