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March 7, 2011 | by  | in News |
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Earthquake causes cancellation of Census

Statistician Geoff Bascand announced jointly on the 25th February that the census would not be held this year.
Bascand said census operations in Christchurch had been badly damaged by the quake, and he was not confident the census could successfully take place.

“My decision is based on my serious reservation about our capacity to maintain delivery and collection of forms. I have concern at the accuracy of the data we will be able to collect given the tragedy’s effect on people’s lives, not just in Canterbury but wider,” he said.
Later in the day Mr Bascand was able to confirm that census collectors would be paid for the work they would have done through to the end of their contracts. This was a relief for many university students, like Ella Hardy, who had been employed for the census.
“I saw a press release right after the earthquake that they were going to cancel it, but they didn’t tell us until Friday when they sent us a text, so that communication wasn’t so good.

“They told us they would pay us all of what they said they would, but they haven’t actually paid us yet.”
2011 is the third time the census has been cancelled. The other two were in 1931 for the Depression and in 1941 during World War II.

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