At Stats NZ, we do a lot with your data

We collect it through household and business surveys, from government agencies, and from some non-government agencies and iwi groups.

We analyse it, and we sometimes link it with other data or share it with government agencies. We also help others do new and useful things with it. But the identity of people, households, and businesses remain confidential within Stats NZ.

We store data securely. If it's not needed, we destroy it.

And if it is needed, we keep it safe.

If someone else wants to see or use sensitive information, we apply our 'five safes' framework.

Safe people: We only give access to researchers who can be trusted.

Safe projects: Each project must have a statistical or analytical purpose and be in the public interest. Research is always about analysis of groups, not individuals and aims to solve issues that benefit New Zealand. Researchers working with us need to share their findings.

Safe settings: Research computers are not connected to a network and only Stats NZ staff can release data.

Safe data: We remove personal identifying information such as names, addresses and dates of birth. Researchers can only use the data that relates to their research.

Safe output: Before any research results are released we double-check that individuals cannot be identified.

Your data is used to improve lives. It helps government agencies and councils make better-informed decisions about where to build schools, hospitals or recreation facilities. It helps community groups and iwi to better understand their communities and make decisions about how best to allocate scarce resources. Businesses can make better decisions about a location and investment driving growth, employment and prosperity.

At Stats NZ we do a lot to protect your data.

In late February every household in New Zealand will receive a letter in their letterbox, or be given a letter by a Stats NZ team member.

(Visual: Shown front of access code letter. Camera zooms in and highlights code.)

Your letter will contain your census access code, which you’ll use to login and complete the 2018 Census online, using whatever device you prefer.

6 March is census day. Your access code is for everyone in your household. Keep your census access code safe until everyone in your household has done theirs. After census day, destroy your access code just like you would destroy a bank statement. 

You can complete your census information on or before 6 March. Start by grabbing your access code.

(Visual: Illustrations of phone, tablet, laptop, desktop and typing of URL. Census info site appears, and cursor clicks big button.)

Then go to and select ‘Begin your census now'.

(Visual: The ICS appears, code appears in boxes and cursor clicks start.)

This will take you to the online forms. Enter your access code and click start.

(Visual: The Household summary form appears and some details are filled out.)

To get started, fill in some summary information about the people staying at your house on census day. This will create the correct number of individual forms so that everyone who is staying with you on 6 March, can fill in their own information.

(Visual: The Dwelling form appears and one page is filled out.)

There’s also a dwelling form to complete. This asks you for information about the house that you live in, and only one person needs to complete this form on behalf of everyone in the house.

(Visual: The Household summary page, an overview of individuals in the house, appears and the cursor clicks on an individual to do their individual form.)

From here, each person in the household must complete their individual form. They can do this separately in their own time, or everyone can do theirs simultaneously. You must complete each form in one go.

It should take each person about 10 minutes to complete their individual form. Make sure everyone in your house completes and submits their census forms before midnight 6 March. Help is available online or call us on 0800 CENSUS (that’s 0800 236787).

The 2018 Census – it’s time to find out.

This video contains instructions on how to complete your 2018 Census forms.

Stats NZ conducts the census, the official count of how many people and dwellings there are in New Zealand. Please complete your forms on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, or earlier if you prefer.

To save time, you can complete your census forms online. You can complete forms in English or te reo Māori.

Your access code letter has the access code for everyone in your household. Keep it until everyone has completed their forms.

If you prefer paper forms (English or te reo Māori / English), please call us (0800 236 787) or go to our website ( as soon as possible, and we will post them to you.

You’ll need a dwelling form and one individual form for every persons present on census night.

Thank you for doing your part.

(Visual: steps to complete your census forms online appears)

To complete your forms online, you can use your mobile, tablet, laptop, or desktop.

1. Go to

2. Click on the button ‘Begin your census now”

3. Enter your access code to start. The Access code for your household is on the letter you have received. It is a series of four boxes containing letters and numbers. This code is the same for EVERYONE in your household.

4. Complete your forms on Tuesday, 6 March, or earlier if you prefer. Answer questions about your household. Complete one dwelling form. Complete one individual form for each person present on the night of 6 March. Click ‘Submit’ for each completed form.

Frequently Asked questions

Why is your response important?

Stats NZ conducts the census every five years. The data we collect is used by government, councils, iwi, businesses, and community groups all over New Zealand to help make informed decisions and plan services that work for your community.

When should I complete my forms?

You should complete your forms on Tuesday, 6 March 2018, or earlier if you prefer.

Do I have to take part in the census?

Yes. All New Zealand residents and visitors to New Zealand are required to take part in the 2018 Census.

Will a Field Officer be delivering paper forms to my house?

No. To reduce costs and run the census more efficiently, we are sending out letters like this to let people know about the census. You can complete your forms online or, if you prefer paper, call 0800 CENSUS (0800 236 787) to request them and return them in the freepost envelope.

Is my information protected?

Yes — your privacy is important to us. The information you provide will be kept confidential by Stats NZ and is protected by the Statistics Act 1975.

What do I do if there is more than one dwelling at this address, such as a granny flat or caravan?

It is important that every dwelling in New Zealand is counted separately. If there is another dwelling at this address that is occupied by a separate household, they need to complete their own set of forms. Please call 0800 CENSUS (0800 236 787) to request a letter or paper forms for that dwelling.

I need help with my forms – can I talk to someone in my language?

Yes — please call us at 0800 CENSUS (0800 236 787) to speak to an agent in one of a variety of languages, they can assist you to complete your forms. 

What if I need help with my forms, or have other questions?

Please contact us or go to our website. If you would like to request te reo Māori/English paper forms, please call and select to speak in te reo or speak to an operator.

How many forms do I need to complete?

You need to answer a few questions about your household, and you need to complete ONE dwelling form for your household, and each person present in your household on Tuesday night, 6 March 2018 should complete an individual form.

For example,

(Visual: four people in a house)

If four people usually live in your household,

(Visual: two of the people in previous image leave the house)

but two people will be away on Tuesday, 6 March,

(Visual: one new person enters the house)

and you have one visitor on Tuesday, 6 March,

(Visual: The two usual residents still in the house, and the new visitor, complete their individual forms using the same access code)

then the three people present on Tuesday, 6 March should each complete an individual form.