We've put together some of the questions you might have about taking part in the census. For help with form completion, and specific census questions, visit our detailed help guide.
We've sent or delivered a unique access code letter to every household in New Zealand that will enable you to complete the census online. The access code is made up of nine numbers followed by three letters and can be found on the right-hand side of your letter. The access code is for everyone in your household to use.
The access code is for everyone in the household to use to take part in the census. Everyone who stayed in your dwelling (house) on the night of 6 March 2018 must complete the census forms using your access code. Family members can help each other complete the census form if required, and parents/guardians will need to make sure that children have their forms completed too.
If you don’t have an access code or any census information, please call 0800 CENSUS (0800 236 787) and let us know. After sending out 500,000 reminder letters after census day, our field teams are now in action across the country visiting the last few people who haven't yet completed their census. In some parts of New Zealand, like the Far North, we began field visits in early March so you may have already seen our team on the ground.
Please complete the census as soon as you receive your access code or paper forms (if requested).
Yes, you can. The online forms are available in te reo Māori - click on the 'Switch to Māori' button at the top right of the page once you have clicked through to begin your census forms.
You can also request bilingual paper forms. Call our helpline to request a bilingual paper form pack on 0800 CENSUS (0800 236 787).
No. We've built the forms so you can complete your census online on a range of devices including tablets, smartphones, laptop and desktop computers. Paper forms are also available if preferred. Head to our support page for more information on requesting these.
Rest assured your paper forms will be on their way - they can take up to seven days to arrive after requesting them. If you’ve been waiting for longer than a week, then call us on 0800 CENSUS (0800 236 787) and we’ll be able to check to see what’s happened.
No, you can’t change information on the online census form after you’ve submitted it, due to privacy reasons.
We have uploaded various resources to our support page to help you complete the census. You may also consider asking a trusted family member or friend for help. Our field teams are also currently visiting households across the country who haven’t yet completed the census, to help them take part. If you are unable to complete the census without assistance, please get in touch with our contact centre (0800 236 787) and they will arrange a solution with you to ensure you can take part.
If you were elsewhere in New Zealand on census night, you should still should have taken part using the access code of that dwelling. Our teams worked with accommodation providers across the country to make sure census forms were available on census night and 7 March. This included campsites and known freedom camping areas of New Zealand. If you didn’t get a pack, please call 0800 CENSUS and they will send a pack to an address you nominate that you will be at (in a weeks’ time). You should still complete your census forms based on where you were on census night.
If you already completed your census, but ended up staying somewhere else unexpectedly on census night, not to worry. Our team will be able to account for you completing forms in two places as part of our processing procedure.
If you were overseas on census day (Tuesday 6 March), you do not need to complete the 2018 Census. Please give our helpline a call on 0800 CENSUS (0800 236 787) if your dwelling was therefore unoccupied on census night, so that our field teams know not to follow up with you.
The 2018 Census is mandatory under the Statistics Act 1975.
After census day, any household who is yet to complete their census forms will be contacted again by letter. Households who haven’t completed their forms after these reminders will be visited by our field teams. If people still refuse to take part after these visits, then Stats NZ will consider prosecution.
The census is an official count of the people and dwellings in New Zealand. On census night we need to collect information about the people staying in your home and also some information about where you live. We use the Household Summary Form to collect summary information about the people staying at your address on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, or people who usually live there but are away. We collect information about where you live in the Dwelling Form. We collect information from each person staying at your address in the Individual Form.
The online and paper census forms are available in English and te reo Māori.
Some support material has been translated into different languages and our contact centre team will be available to speak to people in Te Reo, Mandarin, Korean, Hindi, Samoan, Tongan and Cantonese. Key information about the census is also available in New Zealand Sign Language.
Find out more on our support page.
Any household which we do not have a record of completing the census for will be visited by a member of our team.
If our field officer misses speaking to someone when they visit your address, they will leave a census pack for your household. This pack will include paper forms and an access code to complete your census online. Choose which method you would prefer to complete your census, and take part as soon as possible. If we’ve visited your household more than once, then we might leave a calling card rather than a census pack.
Our team will be wearing clearly marked, branded census uniforms and carrying identification. If you have any concerns, please ask the field officer for their information and call us on 0800 CENSUS (0800 236 787).
The refusal pack you have received includes all of the information you need to complete the census. Please take part as soon as possible, making sure everyone who was in your household on 6 March is accounted for. Once we have a record of completion for your household, you will be removed from our follow-up list. If you are completing the census on paper and need additional paper forms, please give our contact centre a call on 0800 CENSUS (0800 236 787).