Welcome and introductions

Sophie Davies
Sophie Davies Public Seen by 301

Welcome to the 2018 Census group. This is a place for everyone to introduce themselves. It would be great to hear where you're from, if you're representing an organisation and why you've joined this forum!


sue April 28th, 2015 03:42

Hello and welcome! I am Sue Riddle the Project Manager for this consultation. I have dreamed since the last census of having an open and inclusive discussion about census content. It is fantastic to see this dream becoming a reality.
Our team will be working away in the background to make sure the experience is as good as possible for you. Ngā mihi, Sue

Frank Swinney

Frank Swinney April 30th, 2015 08:29

Frank - Sue. Just signing up. Look forward to taking part.

Aaron Norgrove

Aaron Norgrove April 30th, 2015 21:00

Hello Sue, good to see this up and running. I look forward to seeing how it all goes.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies April 30th, 2015 21:51

Hi @frankswinney and @aaronnorgrove thanks for joining the conversation! Would be great to hear where you're from and why you're interested in this forum

Aaron Norgrove

Aaron Norgrove April 30th, 2015 21:54

Hi. I worked on the Future Census project with Sue and others several years ago when this forum was first mooted, when I worked for Stats NZ. Now living in Auckland, self-employed as a data consultant. Working right now on a project preparing a ROI for a council on the UFB and RBI funds.

Frank Swinney

Frank Swinney April 30th, 2015 22:29

Hi. Retired in Masterton from Otago/Southland. Belong to another active Loomio group so interested to see how this might work out.
Welcome the opportunity to have some input into the Stats form. Lots of 'surveys' about these days and often feel frustrated that some questions just don't quite fit my circumstance.

35/140 Chapel St
Masterton 5810
New Zealand
06 378 2591

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies April 30th, 2015 23:32

@aaronnorgrove and @frankswinney thanks for the introductions and welcome to the 2018 Census group! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on census content.


sue May 1st, 2015 00:17

Hi Aaron – welcome and great to see you joining this conversation.


Alexia Garbutt May 1st, 2015 06:58

Hello, great to see Stats NZ trying new ways to engage with the public. Hopefully people remain respectful. Lots of important issues to get stuck into :) I'm in Wgtn and work in the disability sector.


Anna Kerr May 1st, 2015 08:37

Looking forward to interacting with others and having good discussions


Amber I May 1st, 2015 11:27

From Wellington, here because of the Aotearoa Youth Voices Facebook group and not affiliated with any organization, just here as an interested person.

Barbara Mavor

Barbara Mavor May 1st, 2015 21:30

Hi - I am really interested in how Loomio works to engage discussion around the census results. I love the way Stats NZ presents its data and involving more people has got to be a good thing. I live in Wellington, not representing any organisation.


Kay May 2nd, 2015 00:11

Kia ora
I'm Kay Jones from Mt Victoria Wellington, 3rd generation Wellingtonian and 6th generation New Zealander. I belong to lots of community groups and work part-time.

I believe in evidence based policy making and in good practice (not always best practice because that implies waiting for full agreement). I would like to see transport decision making to include environmental and climate considerations. I would like to see health service funding and decision making to consider population diversity including gender variations.
Kay S Jones


C. H. Rose May 2nd, 2015 00:34

I am Charley! I have no affiliation to any organisation - I am a non-binary queer person concerned with how institutions interact with queer (particularly trans, especially non-binary) youth. Having a clear way to collect data about people like me and the way we live is the first step towards real, vital change.

Rowan Burnett-Jones

Rowan Burnett-Jones May 2nd, 2015 02:37

Hi I'm Rowan, I don't have any affiliation to any organisation. Like Charley I'm non-binary queer concerned with how institutions are interacting with the queer population.


Allan Lash May 2nd, 2015 03:45

Hi Sue and fellow members. No afliiations but generally interested.


Stuart K Laing May 2nd, 2015 04:27

Hi I am a map maker among other things and I use Census Data and mesh blocks as part of the process.
I am interest in see how this process works and hope that it is corroborative, respectful and allows ordinary people to have an input into what is in the next Census


Stuart K Laing May 2nd, 2015 04:32

Re my above post I should have use the word Collaborative, this is what happens when you relie to much on auto correct


Anna Kerr May 2nd, 2015 20:55

Hi i am Anna and i live in nelson i am not affiliated to any organisations but have worked on past census i have work in the education field as an early childhood teacher for a number of years i joined out of interest and to have an input as a citizen of aotearoa new zealand into present and future issues that affect our society


Rose Mary Curtis May 2nd, 2015 23:10

Hi I am Rose and I live in Papamoa. I am a retired Primary Teacher so am very interested in the Government's intentions in education.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 3rd, 2015 05:46

@alexiagarbutt @annakerr @amberigasia @barbaramavor @kayscarlet @chrose @rowanburnettjones @allanlash @stuartklaing @rosemarycurtis great to hear your introductions! Welcome to the 2018 Census group, look forward to your participation over the next few weeks :)

Jonathan Godfrey

Jonathan Godfrey May 3rd, 2015 10:01

I'm Jonathan, and am interested in a number of policy areas and am curious to see how the census can enhance knowledge and inform the development of policies, not to mention whether it can enhance the drafting of submissions to Select Committees.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 3rd, 2015 10:16

@jonathangodfrey thanks and welcome to the 2018 Census discussion forum! Will be great to hear your views on how our information can enhance policy development

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 3rd, 2015 22:27

I'm Sophie by the way and I work for Statistics NZ in the 2018 Census Customer Needs and Data team. I'm one of the co-ordinators of this public engagement so am really excited to see how it all goes over the next few weeks.


Philip Welshman May 4th, 2015 01:37

Just signed up - everyone read my sexual orientation discussion...Naughty and shameless self-promotion...


Ella Anais May 4th, 2015 01:44

Tēnā koutou katoa. Ko Ella taku ingoa; no Ngāpuhi ahau. I am really interested in participating in these discussions as a part of my activism and advocacy for marginalised communities. I'm particularly interested in the way that forms allow for non-binary genders and would love to see the 2018 Census allow people to more accurately represent their identities.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 4th, 2015 01:57

@ellaanais welcome to the group! Great to hear a bit about your background. @philipwelshman thank you for joining! We would love to hear why you're interested in this forum and where you're from. There is already a discussion about sexual orientation going on - would be great if you added your thoughts in there. Here is the link.


Lynley Hood May 4th, 2015 05:18

Greetings all - I'm a scientist by training and a writer by occupation. Five years ago I developed a rare visual disorder & am no longer driving. My interest in disability stats was provoked by the discovery that I'm not blind enough to qualify for help from the Blind Foundation (they've set the bar so high that if you fail the eye chart test for driving your sight has to be twice as bad as that before they'll help you). Taking the bus has also given me common cause with the poor, the disabled and the elderly who are dependent on public transport - and with the very poor on my bus route who walk 3 Ks to an from the nearest supermarket.

Kiran Foster

Kiran Foster May 4th, 2015 05:41

Hello! I'm Kiran, and I'm a disabled queer transgender migrant teenager. I do a lot of advocacy work both locally and internationally on behalf of and supporting transgender youth like myself, especially if they are also ethnic minorities or disabled like myself, or otherwise marginalized in more than one way. I'm reasonably well-known for my work both in Auckland and overseas within young trans circles!

I also co-founded Support Our Survivors, a small community organization of ex-Avondale College students with sexual assault histories in the wake of the "Roast Busters" incident.

I'm very invested in advocating for our marginalized youth - if we're not counted, nobody will know what we need. I think it's exceptionally important that the census represents and accounts for us accurately.

Jennifer Katherine Shields

Jennifer Katherine Shields May 4th, 2015 05:45

I'm Jennifer Shields, an advocate for queer and trans youth based at the University of Auckland. I'm a queer mentally ill disabled trans woman. I formed and work with Trans on Campus along with other groups to try improve living and study conditions for trans youth, and to try and make an impact on the vast array of negative statistics we're overrepresented in. With the help of statistical reports like the Youth12 data, Trans on Campus is responsible for improvements in UoA's equity department, and for the university's decision to fund legal name changes for trans students who need it but can't afford it.

Like Kiran, I'm incredibly invested in making sure the next census collects information that could help us even more in similar ways - specifically, the question on gender identity.

Kiran Foster

Kiran Foster May 4th, 2015 05:54

Oh, yeah - I work with Trans on Campus and wrote most of their latest document, forgot to say that; I'm also featured in the Youth '12 factsheet. Thanks Jen!

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 4th, 2015 21:57

@lynleyhood @jenniferkatherines @kiranfoster welcome and thanks for sharing so much about your background! Great to have you as part of the group

Holly Walker

Holly Walker May 4th, 2015 22:51

Kia ora koutou. I'm Holly Walker. I am Principal Advisor at the Office of the Children's Commissioner. I will be representing the views of our office in the discussion and where possible will add suggestions for what could make the census more child-friendly and useful for those who work with and for children. I'll probably spend a few weeks reading and thinking before consulting with my colleagues and then making some suggestions later in the consultation period.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 4th, 2015 23:17

Hi @hollywalker great to hear you're representing your organisation! Look forward to hearing the views of the Office of the Children's Commissioner over the consultation period.


[deactivated account] May 5th, 2015 02:17

Hi, I am Paul. I have started Wellington Poverty Action and look forward to reading about ideas that should be in the Census.
Income, health, education, food, housing etc.
How is the Government and councils present and future going to deal with some of theses problems.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 5th, 2015 02:27

@paulstevenson thanks for joining the conversation. Will be great to hear your views on those topics

Nick Brunsdon

Nick Brunsdon May 5th, 2015 02:33

Hello, I'm the workforce and housing analyst at Canterbury Development Corporation - the economic development agency for Christchurch City Council. I have experience in geospatial and health research also.
I'm particularly interested in information about housing and education from the census.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 5th, 2015 02:36

Welcome @nickbrunsdon, great to have you on board. Here are links to the housing and education and training topics :)

Dylan Longley

Dylan Longley May 5th, 2015 02:39

Kia Ora,
I have had a bit of involvement with how Loomio works, and having been part of the last Census am really interested as to what ideas may be put forward and how to make positive changes through the use of Loomio.


Kay May 5th, 2015 03:48

Welcome @nickbrunsdon If you're interested in how well (or not) local authorities help support the needs of homeless people, you may wish to check out sexual orientation and gender identity threads too. Research in the USA indicates between 25% and 40% of homeless youth are LGBTIQ, possibly as a result of being kicked out of family homes if they self-identify. Local experience suggests similar issues here. Concerns were raised as a conference on homelessness that local authority partnerships with faith-based organisations for emergency housing, especially for young people, may not meet needs. I don't know how well the Census reaches homeless people but even information on LGBTIQ people as a proportion of the population may help with accommodation planning.


Kay May 5th, 2015 03:55

Welcome @lynleyhood I hear similar concerns from friends in the disability community. There seems to be a lack of progress on the recommendations of the 2005 Human Rights Commission report, The Accessible Journey about making public transport more accessible. If people can't travel their health and economic well-being suffer. A question about how people traveled on a particular day wouldn't cover people who stayed home because they didn't have any other option.

Sadly transport planners seeking to change bus services in Wellington appear to have no understanding of this report or issues identified.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 5th, 2015 03:59

@kayscarlet and @nickbrunsdon there is a separate discussion which focuses on homelessness if you're interested in that - here is the link


Kay May 5th, 2015 04:04

Thanks @sophiedavies1 The categories on that thread don't obviously shout out homelessness, which is a combination of accommodation shortfall, economic deprivation, and social wellbeing (or lack of it)? Social or community need? There are a bundle of human needs relating to poverty, illhealth, and other needs. I think of them in relation to Community development or community support but I'm not sure where that discussion fits.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 5th, 2015 04:30

That's a good point @kayscarlet. If you feel that discussion thread does not cover the things you wish to talk about, it might be a good idea to start a new discussion in the other subgroup.

Lance Watson

Lance Watson May 5th, 2015 04:32

Hello, I'm a public servant who takes a keen interest in statistics, particularly interested in birth, migration, and mortality rates. Basically seeing the population change. Also interested in employment and wage bracket figures. I'm excited to see this discussion board grow, it's a brilliant idea for the coming census.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 5th, 2015 04:40

Hi @lancewatson welcome to the group! You might be interested in the population structure topic and the income topic.


Viv Dostine May 5th, 2015 22:09

Hi, I'm Viv, and I run a group keenly interested in recreation, and rural statistics. We're really interested in getting pet statistics onto and horses back onto, the census as there are no really accurate stats for them in NZ.


Penelope Scott May 5th, 2015 23:56

Hi I'm Penelope Scott and I work for the Cancer Society in Health Promotion and I'm interested in health and community related data.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 6th, 2015 00:00

Hi @penelopescott thanks for joining the group! Here is a link to the health topic - would be great to hear your views on this


Ellen Blake May 6th, 2015 11:43

Hi I'm interested in the powerful information that comes from the census and its use in policy and decision making. I am with Living Streets Aotearoa and so am interested in transport data, and in particular the lack of information collected on walking. Would like to see multi-modal travel information collected

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 6th, 2015 21:53

@ellenblake great to have you in the group and good to see you've got involved in the transport discussions already!


Ellen Blake May 7th, 2015 09:38

Hi Sophie


Robin MacIntosh May 7th, 2015 23:51

Robin MacIntosh from Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu here. We are users of the Census 2013, even creating our own Ngai Tahu cohort, and are keen to discuss what would be useful for the 2018 Census.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 8th, 2015 00:02

@RobinM welcome to the 2018 Census group! Great to have you involved. You may be interested in the Ethnicity and Culture discussions - here is the link.


Leonie Walker May 8th, 2015 00:58

Great to see such an open consultative process. I work for the New Zealand Nurses Organisation and I find the census information especially invaluable to be able to compare demographics geographically.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 8th, 2015 01:14

@leoniewalker thanks for the introduction, great to hear where you work. The health topic may be of particular interest to you - here is the link.

Verpal Singh

Verpal Singh May 8th, 2015 05:47

I am Verpal Singh, working across Sikh, ethnic and faith based organizations. Amongst other things I am interested in how ethnicities and cultures are classified and represented on the census forum.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 10th, 2015 05:28

@verpalsingh welcome to the 2018 census group! You may be interested in the Ethnicity, culture and identity discussions - here's the link.


Kim Ollivier May 10th, 2015 21:11

I am a GIS consultant working mainly for local, regional and central government. I have been promoting the use of census data in mapping applications for 40 years and was the first person to digitise meshblocks for that purpose. I would like to see it made easier for analysts to create maps and incorporate published census counts with other information. Access has improved for meshblock patterns and counts, but there is much to improve that would be easy to implement. The key issue for the census process is to remain relevant within the deluge of alternative more detailed data that is available to big players but not the NGO's and charities. Data at an area unit level just does not cut it in comparison to individual tracking done routinely for marketing.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 10th, 2015 22:28

@kimollivier great to hear about your knowledge and experience and great to see you're involved in several of the discussions already! Thanks for joining the group


David Kettle May 11th, 2015 00:00

I am David Kettle with a background as an environmental engineer working in the area of water, waste and completed a PhD in urban water sustainability indicators. I am also a member of the AnewNZ Trust, developing measures of "What Matters Most to New Zealanders". Fully agree the challenge of sticking to same measures to see trends versus including new measures as our views and circumstances change! This is the area I would like to explore most.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 11th, 2015 00:23

Hi @davidkettle welcome to the 2018 Census group. Look forward to hearing your views on the range of census topics


Adele Geradts May 11th, 2015 02:18

Hi Im a parent Board of trustee member, I'm a self employed business owner and a keen genealogist. i think census data for future generations can paint an amazing picture of our ancestors.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 11th, 2015 03:54

@adelegeradts thanks for the introduction. Great to have you involved in the 2018 Census content engagement


Tamati May 11th, 2015 10:22

Hi, I'm here just representing myself, and keen to see consultation in action.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 11th, 2015 21:28

@thom1 welcome to the 2018 Census group!


judith davey May 11th, 2015 21:59

My introductory comments do not seem to have come through.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 12th, 2015 22:20

@judithdavey sorry about that! Maybe try again and if it doesn't work again let me know :)


Marty CDC May 13th, 2015 06:31

Greetings everyone. I work for Carterton District Council and statistics are a vital piece of information for many Council planning and other activities.

Frances Horton

Frances Horton May 13th, 2015 11:17

Hello team, I'm almost retired, have a part-time job which allows me time to participate in things like this! I'm interested in the whole process of the Census. I know it's an ancient device [since Roman times!] but today there is an extra urgency to our data collection: world population, New Zealand's increasing population, and the wider context of sustainable resources. A concern I have: I've read the introductory paper but don't see any mention of CONFIDENTIALITY anywhere. I used to think the census was strictly confidential, but now I'm wondering if that element has been removed. There's a lot of data matching these days from other Government entities.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 14th, 2015 00:07

Hi @martycdc thanks for joining - great to have a council representative involved. @franceshorton welcome and great to hear you've read the preliminary view of content in such detail. Although there isn't a mention of confidentiality in that paper the issue of confidentiality is still a major element of all of the work we undertake. The general confidentiality principle is that, under the Statistics Act 1975, staff are required to withhold any output that might identify the characteristics of a particular person or undertaking. The confidentiality rules ensure we meet the legal need to protect the details of individual persons, while giving useful information about grouped individuals (such as by age, by region) to data users.

Frances Horton

Frances Horton May 14th, 2015 13:26

Thank you Sophie for your explanation and confirmation of the confidentiality principle. Suggest this important principle is stated in the information on-line?
Another respectful and genuine enquiry: I agree that confidentiality issues may be protected by the Statistics Act 1975 towards "data users", but how is a "data user" defined? When census information is gathered by one and the same entity i.e. the Government, it could be asserted that the Government's need to know is greater than the citizen's right to privacy. Two examples: the IRD and Social Welfare exchange information about income received by beneficiaries and superannuitants. Social Welfare also obtain information from Customs/Border Control when beneficiaries or superannuitants travel overseas. When ever money is involved - privacy and confidentiality may be compromised.
This is just an observation of mine, I am not defending dodgy behaviour : > Is it possible that Government can, could, or would, access individual information from Census information? Does the Statistics Act 1975 stand to prevent this from happening? Because Government are not "data users" they are the "data collectors".

It's their Census. Citizens are compelled to comply. Citizens may not withhold name, address, or date of birth - our primary identifiers. If information is released only about grouped individuals by age, region, etc, why are full names, precise date of birth etc required? I don't intend to be contentious. I'd like to understand how it works, and do appreciate your time to reply. Thanks!

Frances Horton

Frances Horton May 14th, 2015 13:32

I do agree with Adele in her post above, that our Census taking will be of immense value to future genealogists. Very worthwhile for historians to ascertain facts about the way we live, as well : >

Frances Horton

Frances Horton May 14th, 2015 13:43

Re David Kettle's post, " the challenge of sticking to same measures to see trends versus including new measures as our views and circumstances change". Good point. Is it possible for the questions to be divided into "long-term trend" and "emerging-trend" type questions? Say two long-term and two emerging-trend questions on each point of enquiry? Say for example - Housing - would the right questions on 'long' and 'emerging' trends elicit information about housing distress, housing shortages, and housing supply throughout NZ? Is that valid for the census process and purpose?


Rod McHugh May 14th, 2015 23:30

Hi, my name is Rod and I am from Mitre 10. I am a long time user of Census data, dwelling information from the Census gives us valuable insight into local Home Improvement markets


David Kettle May 15th, 2015 02:45

Thanks Frances for your suggestion of "long-term trend" and "emerging trend" measures. I am a member of the AnewNZ Trust developing Progress and Wellbeing measures from the bottom up, community level and will explore this more with the Trust.


Paul Minett May 16th, 2015 04:37

Hi, my name is Paul Minett and I am chair of the Ridesharing Institute. Our interest is improvement of traffic and mobility outcomes through increasing levels of passengership - traveling as a passenger in a car, van or bus - and the necessary policy settings that would make much better use of existing resources. Our interest in the Census is the questions that relate to transport that assume a 1960's view of there being just two options: drive or take the bus/train. These days there are many modal options and multi-modal trips that the census just doesn't capture, while perpetuating a false dichotomy.


Lynley Hood May 17th, 2015 05:00

This is a belated response to Kim Ollivier because I’m excited to have a GIS consultant involved in this discussion. I’ve just posted on a new topic in the transport sub-group: poverty and transportation. It’s an area that needs input from people like Kim.


Jacqui Binnie May 17th, 2015 20:59

Hi, I've just signed up. Interested in census, as I worked on Scotland's one in 2011

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 17th, 2015 23:54

@franceshorton sorry for the late reply. Here is a response to your questions (hopefully it answers most of them):
Firstly the data we collect is not used for “administrative purposes” whereas, the data collected by MSD/IRD etc can be linked for their ‘administrative purposes’ – e.g. penalize dodgy beneficiaries.

Secondly there are layers of security for people accessing census information.
1. Security: only approved researchers are allowed to work with the data, and only approved research projects can access the data. To be an approved researcher, a person must:

  • be engaged in research that meets the criteria for approved research
  • be a trustworthy individual who meets professional standards of ethics and adheres to good research practice.
  • provide two references from colleagues engaged in research, research supervisors or managers
  • understand and accept their responsibilities regarding the appropriate use of microdata accessed under the provisions of the Statistics Act. To demonstrate this the researcher must:
  • complete Datalab training
  • sign the researcher undertaking for Datalab training
  • sign the Declaration of Secrecy
  • have received the approval of the Government Statistician
  1. Privacy: Before researchers access the data, information is removed that directly identifies individual people, households or businesses.
  2. Confidentiality: The findings must be grouped in a way that people or businesses cannot be identified. All data that researchers produce from the Integrated Data Infrastructure is checked for confidentiality by Statistics New Zealand

Why are full names, precise date of birth etc required?

  • Name is used for internal collection and processing purposes. This information helps us make sure we have an accurate count of the New Zealand population and its families and households. Name of occupants is used to ensure that the individual forms completed in a dwelling match the people listed on the dwelling form. Name is also used to select the sample and complete the post censual surveys.
  • Date of birth is asked for data quality reasons as age is either frequently not known or misreported. While date of birth is asked to help improve the quality of the data, for output purposes this is converted to age, which even at single year of age contributes to preserving confidentiality.

If you have any further questions about confidentiality feel free to email us at census.external.relations@stats.govt.nz

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 17th, 2015 23:55

@rodmchugh @davidkettle @paulminett @jacquibinnie thanks for introducing yourself and welcome to the group. Great to see some of you already involved in some of the discussions :)


Katy Steele May 19th, 2015 01:56

Hi I'm Katy Steele, Manager at Volunteer Nelson. My interest is in the collection of statistics related to volunteering.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 19th, 2015 02:20

Hi @katysteele thanks for joining the conversation! You may be particularly interested in the unpaid activities discussion - click here to view the discussion so far


Eliot Pryor May 20th, 2015 14:43

Hi my name is Eliot and I saw this was open for discussion. I've worked / volunteered in animal rights groups for a while and there's always been a question for that community of how many vegetarians / vegans there in NZ. There's a sense that it is a growing population but there's no census question on it. It would affect a range of areas such as health, services, culture.

I just had a look at the topics list and I can't see where it would fit in - is it a new category?

Also interested in how Loomio works as I've been hearing a lot about it.


Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 20th, 2015 21:36

@eliotpryor thanks for the introduction - interesting to hear a bit about your background. And yes you're right that would be a new category so I'd encourage you to start up a new discussion in the other category. This is the place for any new discussions :)

Aaron Norgrove

Aaron Norgrove May 21st, 2015 00:02

Hi, I have a question regarding future use of this consultation mechanism. I know the purpose at this stage is to facilitate discussion on content - will there be an opportunity to have a similar mechanism for discussing output? I think ultimately most users of census data are interested in the latter in the sense they expect very little to change on the content side anyway given the need to have comparability/ consistency over time as much as possible with new content added only as a result of RWC - but there is a lot that can be done to improve the type of output that occurs (customised geographies that maintain confidentiality rules for example).

Frances Horton

Frances Horton May 21st, 2015 00:14

Thank you Sophie for your comprehensive reply to my confidentiality concerns. I am reassured! From the outside - it's hard to know what legal provisions and safeguards apply to our information. I have no background knowledge of statistics or census data processing, so needed to ask some basic questions.
I'm sure I'm not the only citizen who wonders about this. Thanks again.


[deactivated account] May 21st, 2015 03:42

Hi I have started to Develop Wellington Poverty Action,
I am interested in everything that is going to improve the well-being of are most vulnerable and all that are marginalised.
Health, education, work, housing, food.
Refuges are they getting all there needs meet to fit in and be healthy.
Is there enough social services in all areas to meet the diverse needs of people. Plus the help in the areas of domestic violence, drug and alcohol addiction, gambling.

Do we have to many liquor outlets near schools?

This is the information I am interested in, for Wellington to move forward and for all to start to prosper.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 24th, 2015 22:42

@aaronnorgrove in response to your question - there will be a chance for you and other data users to review the 2013 Census products later in the year however the method for reviewing these is yet to be determined. We will make sure all data users are aware of when this is and how you can have your say.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies May 24th, 2015 22:46

@paulstevenson great to hear more about your background - here are the links to the current discussions we have on health, housing, education and work. If there are other aspects of these topics you would like to discuss we would encourage you to start up a new discussion in the other category.


Andy Williams June 1st, 2015 08:01

Is there an appropriate place to make suggestions and/or requests on how Stats NZ publish its data?

I really DO like/appreciate spreadsheets - but am NOT a fan of merged cells; it makes (re)sorting data a pain for those who now what they are doing - and maybe impossible for many others

I do like this Loomio thang, too :D


Cecile Tañedo June 1st, 2015 08:13

Hello Andy! Thank you for joining the online discussion on the 2018 census content.
For any suggestions you may have, you can e-mail info@stats.govt.nz. Otherwise go to the 'Contact Us' which is at the upper right hand of the our website. Alternatively, after each output release there is a section at the bottom of the media release where you can write down your suggestions.
We hope this helps.


Shane Field June 2nd, 2015 15:59

Hi, I am Shane, and I'm a student majoring in Statistics in a Bachelor of Science at Massey University. As such, I am quite interested in what's going on here and why.

I am also very politically active, which combined with my studies in Statistics, leads me to become interested in not just the data provided but the relationships between the variables and how such knowledge can help with policy development.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies June 2nd, 2015 21:50

Hi @shanefield welcome to the 2018 Census group! Great to have a university student involved and good to see you've commented on several of the discussions already!


Andrew Lonie June 3rd, 2015 02:52

Hi all, I'm Andrew Lonie and work for the Dunedin City Council in sport and recreation, including physical activity promotion. I'm interested in the power of the census to understand our communities at a fine level to be able to design effective health promotions and interventions.

Sophie Davies

Sophie Davies June 3rd, 2015 03:00

Hi @andrewlonie thanks for the introduction and welcome to the group! The only health information the census currently collects is about smoking and disability so I would encourage you start a new discussion in the other group as this is the place for any new topics.

Tony A W bouwmeester

Tony A W bouwmeester June 6th, 2015 22:36

Hi, I am a member of the public but have always wondered why government departments could not find a way to share information they already have. There is already a record of everyone born in NZ with their correctly spelt name (and possibly an administrative reference code for the birth Cert.) Combine that with everyone coming into the country (and every one of those need a passport to do so, with its unique number), and you have a cross check of everyone in the country. Obviously there will be complications, but I am summarising for this little comment, not writing a 50 page paper on how to do it. I applaud getting income info from IRD, although obviously this will not capture lots of 'cash', 'special' or illegal earnings.

Frances Horton

Frances Horton June 7th, 2015 09:35

Hi Tony, interesting question - I am a member of the public also. I'm sure that there are more issues for Census to cover off than merely knowing the exact number of people in the country at any one time, their ages, locations and employment etc.
Since reading and contributing to these threads on Loomio, I've learned so much about the deeper questions that Census can ask about. And Census can track changes over time, over generations, and in NZ's physical environment.
This is fascinating - and although data gets fed into a maths machine and comes out as statistics, Census still shines a light on many features of our reality that we'd miss otherwise.
Also - I would fear the over-arching scope of Government to peer into our lives: our work, finances, health, DNA, credit and court records, and combine that information.
Citizens are defenceless against this "pan optican" role of the State enforced by elected and non-elected officials.
Philosophers have warned against the misuse of this role in Government since early times.
Have you heard of a book entitled "1984" by Aldous Huxley? It's where the term "Big Brother" comes from.
I also worry about Confidentiality - so many entities want so much information about us all the time these days. Google, advertisers, retailers, governments, territorial authorities, health providers, employers.
It's unduly intrusive IMHO.

Jonathan Godfrey

Jonathan Godfrey June 7th, 2015 10:08

Just a note in passing: "1984" was by George Orwell

Frances Horton

Frances Horton June 7th, 2015 11:45

Oh yes!
You are correct - and I'm online too late at night.
Apologies to Tony, Jonathan, and to the esteemed George Orwell himself.
"If you've never made a mistake you've never made anything!" : >
Cheers guys.