Tuesday, March 5th, 2013 is census day. This is the day we count the people in our country. We fill in our census forms on March 5th. You should receive your forms soon. Every family will receive one form for each person and one for the dwelling. It is compulsory to fill in your form and return it to Statistics New Zealand. You can do this on the internet or someone will collect your form.
Your personal form asks your name, address, age, sex, marital status, ethnicity and whether you have a disability. If there is a child in the family who is too young to read and write, someone else in the family must do this instead. If you have a visitor staying with you on March 5th, you need a form for that person too.
The dwelling form asks where you live, how many rooms are in the dwelling, how many people live in the dwelling and whether you own or rent the dwelling. Only one person in the family fills in that form.
New Zealand has a census once every 5 years. Our last census was scheduled for March 2011 but because of the earthquake in February in Christchurch, it was cancelled at that time.
This census will cost $72m which is less than usual because a lot of the preparation was done in 2011.
The information from the census is used by businesses, schools, health departments and government. The information you give is confidential and no organisation such as Immigration or the Police can ask for information about you.
Listen to February 24th 2011 to hear more about the census.
• fill in (British Eng), fill out (Am) – we use both Brit and Am.
• dwelling – the place you live e.g. house, flat
• compulsory – everyone must do this, by law
• marital status – married or single
• ethnicity – e.g. Maori, Chinese
• disability – e.g. cannot walk, see, hear etc
• scheduled – planned
• cancelled – did not happen
• confidential – only Stats NZ sees the information and they cannot tell anyone.
In your country, how often is the census? Is it every 5 years?