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May 6, 2019 | by  | in News |
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Post Cabinet Press Conference: Census Problems to be Resolved

Jacinda Ardern has announced pre-budget funding to fix statistical holes in the Census data collated last year.


In her Post Cabinet Press Conference last Monday, Ardern acknowledged the need for government funding to be allocated to fixing these issues, so that there is no repeat in future censuses.


“Picking up the pieces has come at a cost,” she said.


The government has pledged to grant $6 million to aid Stats NZ to make up the shortfall, with Ardern confirming that a further $10 million will be given to help mitigate any problems that the department may face during the planning of the upcoming Census in 2023.


Minister of Statistics James Shaw, along with Ardern, cited the previous National-led government’s decision to move to an online census as one of the contributing problems.


In the move, National had cut 5% of total operating costs to Stats NZ, a move that James Shaw said incited mistrust in the department from New Zealanders.


“New Zealanders need statistics that they can trust, and we know that New Zealanders do trust the professionalism and independence of Stats NZ. That trust and independence has been under unreasonable attack from the National Opposition.”


The same morning, Statistics NZ said that the department only has accurate data for 4.7 million people in New Zealand. As a result, they have had to collate data from other government departments to fill in the gaps.


Chief government statistician Liz MacPherson also stated that the 2023 census cannot be conducted successfully if the government uses the same data-gathering processes as imposed by the previous government.


Stats NZ is expected to release Census data in its entirety in mid-2020.


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