• Deborah Morris
Associate Minister of Women's Affairs

'The count down to the start of New Zealand's first Time Use Survey is now on,' said Hon Deborah Morris, Associate Minister of Women's Affairs, today. 'The survey starts on July 4 and runs until June 1999. It is being conducted by Statistics New Zealand for the Ministry of Women's Affairs.

'The time use survey was signalled in the Coalition Agreement, and it is yet another commitment we are delivering on,' said Ms Morris.

Over 8,300 people will keep a time diary for a 48 hour period. They'll be asked to note in the diary all the things they do over that time, including paid work, unpaid work, community and voluntary work, and social, cultural, sporting and leisure activities.

The survey is spread over a one year period to take account of seasonal changes, school holidays, public holidays, week days and weekends.

'The survey will fill an information gap and allow Government agencies and other organisations to develop policies and programmes that fit the realities of people's lives. Information from the survey will replace assumptions and anecdotes with fact.

'I'm particularly interested in the data on unpaid work. Unpaid work such as childcare, care for the elderly, household work and voluntary community work, is crucial to the New Zealand economy, but its value is largely ignored,' said Ms Morris.

'The same conditions of confidentiality that apply to other Statistics New Zealand surveys, like the Census, will apply to the Time Use Survey. That means that respondents cannot be identified.

'Time Use data is now collected in many countries around the world, such as Canada, Australia, the European Community, the UK and Japan. New Zealand's methodology accords with that used overseas which means that New Zealand will be able to make useful comparisons with international data,' said Ms Morris.