Census redesign hoped to boost Māori participation rates

3:06 pm on 5 February 2023
Census forms (file image).

Stats NZ will be sending out more paper forms than it did in 2018 (file picture). Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Organisers are hoping a redesign will boost Māori participation rates in this year's Census, which takes place on 7 March.

The Māori response rate in the 2018 Census was about 68 percent, which Statistics New Zealand has said was unacceptably low.

Deputy Government Statistician Simon Mason said in 2018, there was a failure to consult and explain how data was collected and used, as well as ensuring Māori were properly supported to take part.

This census had seen extensive consultation, and initiatives to boost participation, he said.

There were double the number of census staff, half of whom were Māori, who would work directly with communities to promote awareness, and help whānau to fill in the forms, he said.

"We'll have increased assistance to complete the census including help at your door step should people want that, and the ability to cross into people's homes should they want that to help people complete their census forms."

More paper forms would also be sent out, Mason said.

This year, organisers had worked closely with specialist Māori census groups, while iwi-led census collections would be trialled this year in three regions, he said.

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