Stats Minister confirms funding for Census fix

Extra funding has been confirmed in this year’s Budget to fix issues arising from the 2018 Census and to ensure the next one is the best it can be, the Minister of Statistics announced today.

“The previous National-led Government decided to shift the Census to a mostly online survey and, at the same time, directed Stats NZ to cut costs over two census cycles,” Mr Shaw said.

“Stats NZ has now confirmed it will provide reliable, quality 2018 census data to calculate how many electorates will be needed for next year’s General Election and to revise electorate boundaries where necessary,” James Shaw said.

“It had to delay other work and re-allocate funds to do it.  As a result there’s a shortfall of $5.76 million needed to complete the delayed work, and that’s being covered in this year’s Budget,” James Shaw said.

“There’s also Budget approval this year of $10.36 million to enable Stats NZ to get ahead of the next census. The money will develop the business case for the 2023 Census and start development work on it.

“That development work will incorporate any improvements that are recommended by experts who have been reviewing issues with the 2018 Census,” James Shaw said.

The independent expert review into the 2018 Census, which is being conducted by business management consultant, Murray Jack, and Canada’s former Assistant Chief Statistician, Connie Graziadei, is due to give its findings by July.

“This Government’s taking decisions, starting with this year’s Budget, which make sure any mistakes uncovered by the expert review aren’t repeated.

“New Zealanders deserve to have trust and confidence in reliable independent statistics, which help in delivering a range of better results for New Zealanders including in health, education, and housing,” he said.