Welcome and introductions

SD Sophie Davies Public Seen by 490

Welcome to the 2018 Census group. This is a place for everyone to introduce themselves. It would be great to hear where you're from, if you're representing an organisation and why you've joined this forum!


sue Tue 28 Apr 2015 3:42AM

Hello and welcome! I am Sue Riddle the Project Manager for this consultation. I have dreamed since the last census of having an open and inclusive discussion about census content. It is fantastic to see this dream becoming a reality.
Our team will be working away in the background to make sure the experience is as good as possible for you. Ngā mihi, Sue


Frank Swinney Thu 30 Apr 2015 8:29AM

Frank - Sue. Just signing up. Look forward to taking part.


Aaron Norgrove Thu 30 Apr 2015 9:00PM

Hello Sue, good to see this up and running. I look forward to seeing how it all goes.


Sophie Davies Thu 30 Apr 2015 9:51PM

Hi @frankswinney and @aaronnorgrove thanks for joining the conversation! Would be great to hear where you're from and why you're interested in this forum


Aaron Norgrove Thu 30 Apr 2015 9:54PM

Hi. I worked on the Future Census project with Sue and others several years ago when this forum was first mooted, when I worked for Stats NZ. Now living in Auckland, self-employed as a data consultant. Working right now on a project preparing a ROI for a council on the UFB and RBI funds.


Frank Swinney Thu 30 Apr 2015 10:29PM

Hi. Retired in Masterton from Otago/Southland. Belong to another active Loomio group so interested to see how this might work out.
Welcome the opportunity to have some input into the Stats form. Lots of 'surveys' about these days and often feel frustrated that some questions just don't quite fit my circumstance.

35/140 Chapel St
Masterton 5810
New Zealand
06 378 2591


Sophie Davies Thu 30 Apr 2015 11:32PM

@aaronnorgrove and @frankswinney thanks for the introductions and welcome to the 2018 Census group! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on census content.


sue Fri 1 May 2015 12:17AM

Hi Aaron – welcome and great to see you joining this conversation.


Alexia Garbutt Fri 1 May 2015 6:58AM

Hello, great to see Stats NZ trying new ways to engage with the public. Hopefully people remain respectful. Lots of important issues to get stuck into :) I'm in Wgtn and work in the disability sector.


Anna Kerr Fri 1 May 2015 8:37AM

Looking forward to interacting with others and having good discussions


Amber I Fri 1 May 2015 11:27AM

From Wellington, here because of the Aotearoa Youth Voices Facebook group and not affiliated with any organization, just here as an interested person.


Barbara Mavor Fri 1 May 2015 9:30PM

Hi - I am really interested in how Loomio works to engage discussion around the census results. I love the way Stats NZ presents its data and involving more people has got to be a good thing. I live in Wellington, not representing any organisation.


Kay Sat 2 May 2015 12:11AM

Kia ora
I'm Kay Jones from Mt Victoria Wellington, 3rd generation Wellingtonian and 6th generation New Zealander. I belong to lots of community groups and work part-time.

I believe in evidence based policy making and in good practice (not always best practice because that implies waiting for full agreement). I would like to see transport decision making to include environmental and climate considerations. I would like to see health service funding and decision making to consider population diversity including gender variations.
Kay S Jones


C. H. Rose Sat 2 May 2015 12:34AM

I am Charley! I have no affiliation to any organisation - I am a non-binary queer person concerned with how institutions interact with queer (particularly trans, especially non-binary) youth. Having a clear way to collect data about people like me and the way we live is the first step towards real, vital change.


Rowan Burnett-Jones Sat 2 May 2015 2:37AM

Hi I'm Rowan, I don't have any affiliation to any organisation. Like Charley I'm non-binary queer concerned with how institutions are interacting with the queer population.


Allan Lash Sat 2 May 2015 3:45AM

Hi Sue and fellow members. No afliiations but generally interested.


Stuart K Laing Sat 2 May 2015 4:27AM

Hi I am a map maker among other things and I use Census Data and mesh blocks as part of the process.
I am interest in see how this process works and hope that it is corroborative, respectful and allows ordinary people to have an input into what is in the next Census


Stuart K Laing Sat 2 May 2015 4:32AM

Re my above post I should have use the word Collaborative, this is what happens when you relie to much on auto correct


Anna Kerr Sat 2 May 2015 8:55PM

Hi i am Anna and i live in nelson i am not affiliated to any organisations but have worked on past census i have work in the education field as an early childhood teacher for a number of years i joined out of interest and to have an input as a citizen of aotearoa new zealand into present and future issues that affect our society


Rose Mary Curtis Sat 2 May 2015 11:10PM

Hi I am Rose and I live in Papamoa. I am a retired Primary Teacher so am very interested in the Government's intentions in education.


Sophie Davies Sun 3 May 2015 5:46AM

@alexiagarbutt @annakerr @amberigasia @barbaramavor @kayscarlet @chrose @rowanburnettjones @allanlash @stuartklaing @rosemarycurtis great to hear your introductions! Welcome to the 2018 Census group, look forward to your participation over the next few weeks :)


Jonathan Godfrey Sun 3 May 2015 10:01AM

I'm Jonathan, and am interested in a number of policy areas and am curious to see how the census can enhance knowledge and inform the development of policies, not to mention whether it can enhance the drafting of submissions to Select Committees.


Sophie Davies Sun 3 May 2015 10:16AM

@jonathangodfrey thanks and welcome to the 2018 Census discussion forum! Will be great to hear your views on how our information can enhance policy development


Sophie Davies Sun 3 May 2015 10:27PM

I'm Sophie by the way and I work for Statistics NZ in the 2018 Census Customer Needs and Data team. I'm one of the co-ordinators of this public engagement so am really excited to see how it all goes over the next few weeks.


Philip Welshman Mon 4 May 2015 1:37AM

Just signed up - everyone read my sexual orientation discussion...Naughty and shameless self-promotion...


Ella Anais Mon 4 May 2015 1:44AM

Tēnā koutou katoa. Ko Ella taku ingoa; no Ngāpuhi ahau. I am really interested in participating in these discussions as a part of my activism and advocacy for marginalised communities. I'm particularly interested in the way that forms allow for non-binary genders and would love to see the 2018 Census allow people to more accurately represent their identities.


Sophie Davies Mon 4 May 2015 1:57AM

@ellaanais welcome to the group! Great to hear a bit about your background. @philipwelshman thank you for joining! We would love to hear why you're interested in this forum and where you're from. There is already a discussion about sexual orientation going on - would be great if you added your thoughts in there. Here is the link.


Lynley Hood Mon 4 May 2015 5:18AM

Greetings all - I'm a scientist by training and a writer by occupation. Five years ago I developed a rare visual disorder & am no longer driving. My interest in disability stats was provoked by the discovery that I'm not blind enough to qualify for help from the Blind Foundation (they've set the bar so high that if you fail the eye chart test for driving your sight has to be twice as bad as that before they'll help you). Taking the bus has also given me common cause with the poor, the disabled and the elderly who are dependent on public transport - and with the very poor on my bus route who walk 3 Ks to an from the nearest supermarket.


Kiran Foster Mon 4 May 2015 5:41AM

Hello! I'm Kiran, and I'm a disabled queer transgender migrant teenager. I do a lot of advocacy work both locally and internationally on behalf of and supporting transgender youth like myself, especially if they are also ethnic minorities or disabled like myself, or otherwise marginalized in more than one way. I'm reasonably well-known for my work both in Auckland and overseas within young trans circles!

I also co-founded Support Our Survivors, a small community organization of ex-Avondale College students with sexual assault histories in the wake of the "Roast Busters" incident.

I'm very invested in advocating for our marginalized youth - if we're not counted, nobody will know what we need. I think it's exceptionally important that the census represents and accounts for us accurately.


Jennifer Katherine Shields Mon 4 May 2015 5:45AM

I'm Jennifer Shields, an advocate for queer and trans youth based at the University of Auckland. I'm a queer mentally ill disabled trans woman. I formed and work with Trans on Campus along with other groups to try improve living and study conditions for trans youth, and to try and make an impact on the vast array of negative statistics we're overrepresented in. With the help of statistical reports like the Youth12 data, Trans on Campus is responsible for improvements in UoA's equity department, and for the university's decision to fund legal name changes for trans students who need it but can't afford it.

Like Kiran, I'm incredibly invested in making sure the next census collects information that could help us even more in similar ways - specifically, the question on gender identity.


Kiran Foster Mon 4 May 2015 5:54AM

Oh, yeah - I work with Trans on Campus and wrote most of their latest document, forgot to say that; I'm also featured in the Youth '12 factsheet. Thanks Jen!


Sophie Davies Mon 4 May 2015 9:57PM

@lynleyhood @jenniferkatherines @kiranfoster welcome and thanks for sharing so much about your background! Great to have you as part of the group


Holly Walker Mon 4 May 2015 10:51PM

Kia ora koutou. I'm Holly Walker. I am Principal Advisor at the Office of the Children's Commissioner. I will be representing the views of our office in the discussion and where possible will add suggestions for what could make the census more child-friendly and useful for those who work with and for children. I'll probably spend a few weeks reading and thinking before consulting with my colleagues and then making some suggestions later in the consultation period.


Sophie Davies Mon 4 May 2015 11:17PM

Hi @hollywalker great to hear you're representing your organisation! Look forward to hearing the views of the Office of the Children's Commissioner over the consultation period.


[deactivated account] Tue 5 May 2015 2:17AM

Hi, I am Paul. I have started Wellington Poverty Action and look forward to reading about ideas that should be in the Census.
Income, health, education, food, housing etc.
How is the Government and councils present and future going to deal with some of theses problems.


Sophie Davies Tue 5 May 2015 2:27AM

@paulstevenson thanks for joining the conversation. Will be great to hear your views on those topics


Nick Brunsdon Tue 5 May 2015 2:33AM

Hello, I'm the workforce and housing analyst at Canterbury Development Corporation - the economic development agency for Christchurch City Council. I have experience in geospatial and health research also.
I'm particularly interested in information about housing and education from the census.


Sophie Davies Tue 5 May 2015 2:36AM

Welcome @nickbrunsdon, great to have you on board. Here are links to the housing and education and training topics :)


Dylan Longley Tue 5 May 2015 2:39AM

Kia Ora,
I have had a bit of involvement with how Loomio works, and having been part of the last Census am really interested as to what ideas may be put forward and how to make positive changes through the use of Loomio.


Kay Tue 5 May 2015 3:48AM

Welcome @nickbrunsdon If you're interested in how well (or not) local authorities help support the needs of homeless people, you may wish to check out sexual orientation and gender identity threads too. Research in the USA indicates between 25% and 40% of homeless youth are LGBTIQ, possibly as a result of being kicked out of family homes if they self-identify. Local experience suggests similar issues here. Concerns were raised as a conference on homelessness that local authority partnerships with faith-based organisations for emergency housing, especially for young people, may not meet needs. I don't know how well the Census reaches homeless people but even information on LGBTIQ people as a proportion of the population may help with accommodation planning.


Kay Tue 5 May 2015 3:55AM

Welcome @lynleyhood I hear similar concerns from friends in the disability community. There seems to be a lack of progress on the recommendations of the 2005 Human Rights Commission report, The Accessible Journey about making public transport more accessible. If people can't travel their health and economic well-being suffer. A question about how people traveled on a particular day wouldn't cover people who stayed home because they didn't have any other option.

Sadly transport planners seeking to change bus services in Wellington appear to have no understanding of this report or issues identified.


Sophie Davies Tue 5 May 2015 3:59AM

@kayscarlet and @nickbrunsdon there is a separate discussion which focuses on homelessness if you're interested in that - here is the link


Kay Tue 5 May 2015 4:04AM

Thanks @sophiedavies1 The categories on that thread don't obviously shout out homelessness, which is a combination of accommodation shortfall, economic deprivation, and social wellbeing (or lack of it)? Social or community need? There are a bundle of human needs relating to poverty, illhealth, and other needs. I think of them in relation to Community development or community support but I'm not sure where that discussion fits.


Sophie Davies Tue 5 May 2015 4:30AM

That's a good point @kayscarlet. If you feel that discussion thread does not cover the things you wish to talk about, it might be a good idea to start a new discussion in the other subgroup.


Lance Watson Tue 5 May 2015 4:32AM

Hello, I'm a public servant who takes a keen interest in statistics, particularly interested in birth, migration, and mortality rates. Basically seeing the population change. Also interested in employment and wage bracket figures. I'm excited to see this discussion board grow, it's a brilliant idea for the coming census.


Sophie Davies Tue 5 May 2015 4:40AM

Hi @lancewatson welcome to the group! You might be interested in the population structure topic and the income topic.


Viv Dostine Tue 5 May 2015 10:09PM

Hi, I'm Viv, and I run a group keenly interested in recreation, and rural statistics. We're really interested in getting pet statistics onto and horses back onto, the census as there are no really accurate stats for them in NZ.


Penelope Scott Tue 5 May 2015 11:56PM

Hi I'm Penelope Scott and I work for the Cancer Society in Health Promotion and I'm interested in health and community related data.


Sophie Davies Wed 6 May 2015 12:00AM

Hi @penelopescott thanks for joining the group! Here is a link to the health topic - would be great to hear your views on this


Ellen Blake Wed 6 May 2015 11:43AM

Hi I'm interested in the powerful information that comes from the census and its use in policy and decision making. I am with Living Streets Aotearoa and so am interested in transport data, and in particular the lack of information collected on walking. Would like to see multi-modal travel information collected


Sophie Davies Wed 6 May 2015 9:53PM

@ellenblake great to have you in the group and good to see you've got involved in the transport discussions already!


Ellen Blake Thu 7 May 2015 9:38AM

Hi Sophie


Robin MacIntosh Thu 7 May 2015 11:51PM

Robin MacIntosh from Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu here. We are users of the Census 2013, even creating our own Ngai Tahu cohort, and are keen to discuss what would be useful for the 2018 Census.


Sophie Davies Fri 8 May 2015 12:02AM

@RobinM welcome to the 2018 Census group! Great to have you involved. You may be interested in the Ethnicity and Culture discussions - here is the link.


Leonie Walker Fri 8 May 2015 12:58AM

Great to see such an open consultative process. I work for the New Zealand Nurses Organisation and I find the census information especially invaluable to be able to compare demographics geographically.


Sophie Davies Fri 8 May 2015 1:14AM

@leoniewalker thanks for the introduction, great to hear where you work. The health topic may be of particular interest to you - here is the link.


Verpal Singh Fri 8 May 2015 5:47AM

I am Verpal Singh, working across Sikh, ethnic and faith based organizations. Amongst other things I am interested in how ethnicities and cultures are classified and represented on the census forum.


Sophie Davies Sun 10 May 2015 5:28AM

@verpalsingh welcome to the 2018 census group! You may be interested in the Ethnicity, culture and identity discussions - here's the link.


Kim Ollivier Sun 10 May 2015 9:11PM

I am a GIS consultant working mainly for local, regional and central government. I have been promoting the use of census data in mapping applications for 40 years and was the first person to digitise meshblocks for that purpose. I would like to see it made easier for analysts to create maps and incorporate published census counts with other information. Access has improved for meshblock patterns and counts, but there is much to improve that would be easy to implement. The key issue for the census process is to remain relevant within the deluge of alternative more detailed data that is available to big players but not the NGO's and charities. Data at an area unit level just does not cut it in comparison to individual tracking done routinely for marketing.


Sophie Davies Sun 10 May 2015 10:28PM

@kimollivier great to hear about your knowledge and experience and great to see you're involved in several of the discussions already! Thanks for joining the group


David Kettle Mon 11 May 2015 12:00AM

I am David Kettle with a background as an environmental engineer working in the area of water, waste and completed a PhD in urban water sustainability indicators. I am also a member of the AnewNZ Trust, developing measures of "What Matters Most to New Zealanders". Fully agree the challenge of sticking to same measures to see trends versus including new measures as our views and circumstances change! This is the area I would like to explore most.


Sophie Davies Mon 11 May 2015 12:23AM

Hi @davidkettle welcome to the 2018 Census group. Look forward to hearing your views on the range of census topics


Adele Geradts Mon 11 May 2015 2:18AM

Hi Im a parent Board of trustee member, I'm a self employed business owner and a keen genealogist. i think census data for future generations can paint an amazing picture of our ancestors.


Sophie Davies Mon 11 May 2015 3:54AM

@adelegeradts thanks for the introduction. Great to have you involved in the 2018 Census content engagement


Tamati Mon 11 May 2015 10:22AM

Hi, I'm here just representing myself, and keen to see consultation in action.


Sophie Davies Mon 11 May 2015 9:28PM

@thom1 welcome to the 2018 Census group!


judith davey Mon 11 May 2015 9:59PM

My introductory comments do not seem to have come through.


Sophie Davies Tue 12 May 2015 10:20PM

@judithdavey sorry about that! Maybe try again and if it doesn't work again let me know :)


Marty CDC Wed 13 May 2015 6:31AM

Greetings everyone. I work for Carterton District Council and statistics are a vital piece of information for many Council planning and other activities.


Frances Horton Wed 13 May 2015 11:17AM

Hello team, I'm almost retired, have a part-time job which allows me time to participate in things like this! I'm interested in the whole process of the Census. I know it's an ancient device [since Roman times!] but today there is an extra urgency to our data collection: world population, New Zealand's increasing population, and the wider context of sustainable resources. A concern I have: I've read the introductory paper but don't see any mention of CONFIDENTIALITY anywhere. I used to think the census was strictly confidential, but now I'm wondering if that element has been removed. There's a lot of data matching these days from other Government entities.


Sophie Davies Thu 14 May 2015 12:07AM

Hi @martycdc thanks for joining - great to have a council representative involved. @franceshorton welcome and great to hear you've read the preliminary view of content in such detail. Although there isn't a mention of confidentiality in that paper the issue of confidentiality is still a major element of all of the work we undertake. The general confidentiality principle is that, under the Statistics Act 1975, staff are required to withhold any output that might identify the characteristics of a particular person or undertaking. The confidentiality rules ensure we meet the legal need to protect the details of individual persons, while giving useful information about grouped individuals (such as by age, by region) to data users.


Frances Horton Thu 14 May 2015 1:26PM

Thank you Sophie for your explanation and confirmation of the confidentiality principle. Suggest this important principle is stated in the information on-line?
Another respectful and genuine enquiry: I agree that confidentiality issues may be protected by the Statistics Act 1975 towards "data users", but how is a "data user" defined? When census information is gathered by one and the same entity i.e. the Government, it could be asserted that the Government's need to know is greater than the citizen's right to privacy. Two examples: the IRD and Social Welfare exchange information about income received by beneficiaries and superannuitants. Social Welfare also obtain information from Customs/Border Control when beneficiaries or superannuitants travel overseas. When ever money is involved - privacy and confidentiality may be compromised.
This is just an observation of mine, I am not defending dodgy behaviour : > Is it possible that Government can, could, or would, access individual information from Census information? Does the Statistics Act 1975 stand to prevent this from happening? Because Government are not "data users" they are the "data collectors".

It's their Census. Citizens are compelled to comply. Citizens may not withhold name, address, or date of birth - our primary identifiers. If information is released only about grouped individuals by age, region, etc, why are full names, precise date of birth etc required? I don't intend to be contentious. I'd like to understand how it works, and do appreciate your time to reply. Thanks!


Frances Horton Thu 14 May 2015 1:32PM

I do agree with Adele in her post above, that our Census taking will be of immense value to future genealogists. Very worthwhile for historians to ascertain facts about the way we live, as well : >


Frances Horton Thu 14 May 2015 1:43PM

Re David Kettle's post, " the challenge of sticking to same measures to see trends versus including new measures as our views and circumstances change". Good point. Is it possible for the questions to be divided into "long-term trend" and "emerging-trend" type questions? Say two long-term and two emerging-trend questions on each point of enquiry? Say for example - Housing - would the right questions on 'long' and 'emerging' trends elicit information about housing distress, housing shortages, and housing supply throughout NZ? Is that valid for the census process and purpose?


Rod McHugh Thu 14 May 2015 11:30PM

Hi, my name is Rod and I am from Mitre 10. I am a long time user of Census data, dwelling information from the Census gives us valuable insight into local Home Improvement markets


David Kettle Fri 15 May 2015 2:45AM

Thanks Frances for your suggestion of "long-term trend" and "emerging trend" measures. I am a member of the AnewNZ Trust developing Progress and Wellbeing measures from the bottom up, community level and will explore this more with the Trust.


Paul Minett Sat 16 May 2015 4:37AM

Hi, my name is Paul Minett and I am chair of the Ridesharing Institute. Our interest is improvement of traffic and mobility outcomes through increasing levels of passengership - traveling as a passenger in a car, van or bus - and the necessary policy settings that would make much better use of existing resources. Our interest in the Census is the questions that relate to transport that assume a 1960's view of there being just two options: drive or take the bus/train. These days there are many modal options and multi-modal trips that the census just doesn't capture, while perpetuating a false dichotomy.


Lynley Hood Sun 17 May 2015 5:00AM

This is a belated response to Kim Ollivier because I’m excited to have a GIS consultant involved in this discussion. I’ve just posted on a new topic in the transport sub-group: poverty and transportation. It’s an area that needs input from people like Kim.


Jacqui Binnie Sun 17 May 2015 8:59PM

Hi, I've just signed up. Interested in census, as I worked on Scotland's one in 2011


Sophie Davies Sun 17 May 2015 11:54PM

@franceshorton sorry for the late reply. Here is a response to your questions (hopefully it answers most of them):
Firstly the data we collect is not used for “administrative purposes” whereas, the data collected by MSD/IRD etc can be linked for their ‘administrative purposes’ – e.g. penalize dodgy beneficiaries.

Secondly there are layers of security for people accessing census information.
1. Security: only approved researchers are allowed to work with the data, and only approved research projects can access the data. To be an approved researcher, a person must:

  • be engaged in research that meets the criteria for approved research
  • be a trustworthy individual who meets professional standards of ethics and adheres to good research practice.
  • provide two references from colleagues engaged in research, research supervisors or managers
  • understand and accept their responsibilities regarding the appropriate use of microdata accessed under the provisions of the Statistics Act. To demonstrate this the researcher must:
  • complete Datalab training
  • sign the researcher undertaking for Datalab training
  • sign the Declaration of Secrecy
  • have received the approval of the Government Statistician
  1. Privacy: Before researchers access the data, information is removed that directly identifies individual people, households or businesses.
  2. Confidentiality: The findings must be grouped in a way that people or businesses cannot be identified. All data that researchers produce from the Integrated Data Infrastructure is checked for confidentiality by Statistics New Zealand

Why are full names, precise date of birth etc required?

  • Name is used for internal collection and processing purposes. This information helps us make sure we have an accurate count of the New Zealand population and its families and households. Name of occupants is used to ensure that the individual forms completed in a dwelling match the people listed on the dwelling form. Name is also used to select the sample and complete the post censual surveys.
  • Date of birth is asked for data quality reasons as age is either frequently not known or misreported. While date of birth is asked to help improve the quality of the data, for output purposes this is converted to age, which even at single year of age contributes to preserving confidentiality.

If you have any further questions about confidentiality feel free to email us at census.external.relations@stats.govt.nz


Sophie Davies Sun 17 May 2015 11:55PM

@rodmchugh @davidkettle @paulminett @jacquibinnie thanks for introducing yourself and welcome to the group. Great to see some of you already involved in some of the discussions :)


Katy Steele Tue 19 May 2015 1:56AM

Hi I'm Katy Steele, Manager at Volunteer Nelson. My interest is in the collection of statistics related to volunteering.


Sophie Davies Tue 19 May 2015 2:20AM

Hi @katysteele thanks for joining the conversation! You may be particularly interested in the unpaid activities discussion - click here to view the discussion so far


Eliot Pryor Wed 20 May 2015 2:43PM

Hi my name is Eliot and I saw this was open for discussion. I've worked / volunteered in animal rights groups for a while and there's always been a question for that community of how many vegetarians / vegans there in NZ. There's a sense that it is a growing population but there's no census question on it. It would affect a range of areas such as health, services, culture.

I just had a look at the topics list and I can't see where it would fit in - is it a new category?

Also interested in how Loomio works as I've been hearing a lot about it.



Sophie Davies Wed 20 May 2015 9:36PM

@eliotpryor thanks for the introduction - interesting to hear a bit about your background. And yes you're right that would be a new category so I'd encourage you to start up a new discussion in the other category. This is the place for any new discussions :)


Aaron Norgrove Thu 21 May 2015 12:02AM

Hi, I have a question regarding future use of this consultation mechanism. I know the purpose at this stage is to facilitate discussion on content - will there be an opportunity to have a similar mechanism for discussing output? I think ultimately most users of census data are interested in the latter in the sense they expect very little to change on the content side anyway given the need to have comparability/ consistency over time as much as possible with new content added only as a result of RWC - but there is a lot that can be done to improve the type of output that occurs (customised geographies that maintain confidentiality rules for example).


Frances Horton Thu 21 May 2015 12:14AM

Thank you Sophie for your comprehensive reply to my confidentiality concerns. I am reassured! From the outside - it's hard to know what legal provisions and safeguards apply to our information. I have no background knowledge of statistics or census data processing, so needed to ask some basic questions.
I'm sure I'm not the only citizen who wonders about this. Thanks again.


[deactivated account] Thu 21 May 2015 3:42AM

Hi I have started to Develop Wellington Poverty Action,
I am interested in everything that is going to improve the well-being of are most vulnerable and all that are marginalised.
Health, education, work, housing, food.
Refuges are they getting all there needs meet to fit in and be healthy.
Is there enough social services in all areas to meet the diverse needs of people. Plus the help in the areas of domestic violence, drug and alcohol addiction, gambling.

Do we have to many liquor outlets near schools?

This is the information I am interested in, for Wellington to move forward and for all to start to prosper.


Sophie Davies Sun 24 May 2015 10:42PM

@aaronnorgrove in response to your question - there will be a chance for you and other data users to review the 2013 Census products later in the year however the method for reviewing these is yet to be determined. We will make sure all data users are aware of when this is and how you can have your say.


Sophie Davies Sun 24 May 2015 10:46PM

@paulstevenson great to hear more about your background - here are the links to the current discussions we have on health, housing, education and work. If there are other aspects of these topics you would like to discuss we would encourage you to start up a new discussion in the other category.


Andy Williams Mon 1 Jun 2015 8:01AM

Is there an appropriate place to make suggestions and/or requests on how Stats NZ publish its data?

I really DO like/appreciate spreadsheets - but am NOT a fan of merged cells; it makes (re)sorting data a pain for those who now what they are doing - and maybe impossible for many others

I do like this Loomio thang, too :D


Cecile Tañedo Mon 1 Jun 2015 8:13AM

Hello Andy! Thank you for joining the online discussion on the 2018 census content.
For any suggestions you may have, you can e-mail info@stats.govt.nz. Otherwise go to the 'Contact Us' which is at the upper right hand of the our website. Alternatively, after each output release there is a section at the bottom of the media release where you can write down your suggestions.
We hope this helps.


Shane Field Tue 2 Jun 2015 3:59PM

Hi, I am Shane, and I'm a student majoring in Statistics in a Bachelor of Science at Massey University. As such, I am quite interested in what's going on here and why.

I am also very politically active, which combined with my studies in Statistics, leads me to become interested in not just the data provided but the relationships between the variables and how such knowledge can help with policy development.


Sophie Davies Tue 2 Jun 2015 9:50PM

Hi @shanefield welcome to the 2018 Census group! Great to have a university student involved and good to see you've commented on several of the discussions already!


Andrew Lonie Wed 3 Jun 2015 2:52AM

Hi all, I'm Andrew Lonie and work for the Dunedin City Council in sport and recreation, including physical activity promotion. I'm interested in the power of the census to understand our communities at a fine level to be able to design effective health promotions and interventions.


Sophie Davies Wed 3 Jun 2015 3:00AM

Hi @andrewlonie thanks for the introduction and welcome to the group! The only health information the census currently collects is about smoking and disability so I would encourage you start a new discussion in the other group as this is the place for any new topics.


Tony A W bouwmeester Sat 6 Jun 2015 10:36PM

Hi, I am a member of the public but have always wondered why government departments could not find a way to share information they already have. There is already a record of everyone born in NZ with their correctly spelt name (and possibly an administrative reference code for the birth Cert.) Combine that with everyone coming into the country (and every one of those need a passport to do so, with its unique number), and you have a cross check of everyone in the country. Obviously there will be complications, but I am summarising for this little comment, not writing a 50 page paper on how to do it. I applaud getting income info from IRD, although obviously this will not capture lots of 'cash', 'special' or illegal earnings.


Frances Horton Sun 7 Jun 2015 9:35AM

Hi Tony, interesting question - I am a member of the public also. I'm sure that there are more issues for Census to cover off than merely knowing the exact number of people in the country at any one time, their ages, locations and employment etc.
Since reading and contributing to these threads on Loomio, I've learned so much about the deeper questions that Census can ask about. And Census can track changes over time, over generations, and in NZ's physical environment.
This is fascinating - and although data gets fed into a maths machine and comes out as statistics, Census still shines a light on many features of our reality that we'd miss otherwise.
Also - I would fear the over-arching scope of Government to peer into our lives: our work, finances, health, DNA, credit and court records, and combine that information.
Citizens are defenceless against this "pan optican" role of the State enforced by elected and non-elected officials.
Philosophers have warned against the misuse of this role in Government since early times.
Have you heard of a book entitled "1984" by Aldous Huxley? It's where the term "Big Brother" comes from.
I also worry about Confidentiality - so many entities want so much information about us all the time these days. Google, advertisers, retailers, governments, territorial authorities, health providers, employers.
It's unduly intrusive IMHO.


Jonathan Godfrey Sun 7 Jun 2015 10:08AM

Just a note in passing: "1984" was by George Orwell


Frances Horton Sun 7 Jun 2015 11:45AM

Oh yes!
You are correct - and I'm online too late at night.
Apologies to Tony, Jonathan, and to the esteemed George Orwell himself.
"If you've never made a mistake you've never made anything!" : >
Cheers guys.


Tony A W bouwmeester Sun 7 Jun 2015 6:34PM

Yes, I have read 1984, but that is a far cry from everyone simply having, for example, an IRD number or a WINZ number. (Every adult must have one of these two, otherwise how would they eat.) There would be a few exceptions, but my point is that to have an IRD ID number is something most of us have, and if everyone had an ID, this would avoid an unpaid debt attaching to the wrong John Smith.
And yes there is much more to the Census, it just starts with counting everyone once.


Frances Horton Mon 8 Jun 2015 2:56PM

Hi Tony, thanks for interesting point.
But in addition to IRD numbers, and Social Welfare numbers, citizens might also possess a Birth registration number, Passport numbers, [even newborn children have their own passports] Driver Licence numbers, unique dates of birth and full names
Individuals have other markers like employment history, schooling, financial/credit history, property involvement [renting or ownership] and a myriad of other traceable interactions with society and Government.
Surely this matrix of identifiers is sufficient to prove an individual's identity?
I don't agree that citizens also need to have an ID number - in addition to all the above.

An individual falsely linked to an unpaid debt, can still fully identify themselves. Likewise if internet "identity theft" occurs, individuals are still able to separate themselves from the imposter.
There are always unique things about individuals.

I also suspect that if everyone had an ID then it would be as vulnerable to attempts at falsification as any other State imposed identification.
The ID issue has been raised in NZ before, and discussed in the media but I don't recall it found many supporters.

I agree Census seeks to identify every single person in NZ at that date, but it's unrealistic to expect 100% accuracy. There are those who live under the radar, and those who choose "off the grid" lifestyles. That's their right and they're free to do so, surely.

Census is a better method to elicit individual presence and lifestyle than a Government ID process.


Sophie Davies Mon 8 Jun 2015 11:53PM

hi @tonyawbouwmeester welcome to the group! Great to have you on board as you raise some very interesting points. Look forward to hearing your thoughts on the various census topics!


Phil Drane Wed 10 Jun 2015 1:29AM

Hi. I have joined to because I would like to know how many other people in NZ would want to describe their ethnicity (i.e. cultural self-identity) as either English or Anglo-Kiwi in the 2018 Census. In multicultural NZ every ethnic group should be given equal respect and an opportunity to make details about their unique cultural identity and numbers known. The Census is the only vehicle that can achieve this without undue influence but in the 2013 census the number of ethnic English people was so astonishingly low that it seriously merited investigation by the Race Relations Office. I suspect the numbers were skewed either by widespread misunderstanding of what ethnicity means, or because responders simply felt obliged for some reason to tick (say) the New Zealander European box. I would like to avoid the possibility of this being repeated and I hope this debate truly offers an opportunity to change things.


Sophie Davies Wed 10 Jun 2015 1:57AM

Hi @phildrane thanks for introducing yourself and telling us a bit about your background. Sounds like you've got some very interesting thoughts on ethnicity so it's great to see you're already involved in that discussion!


Mavis Duncanson Wed 10 Jun 2015 2:35AM

Hello all. I am an epidemiologist with the New Zealand Child and Youth Epidemiology Service. As heavy users of Census data our combined research groups will be making a formal submission. I'm also keen though to engage with this on-line forum and see the kind of issues that people are raising.


Sophie Davies Wed 10 Jun 2015 2:55AM

hi @mavisduncanson welcome to the group! Look forward to hearing your views on our recommendations for 2018 Census content. You are will probably be most interested in the families and households and health topics.


Prudence Stone Wed 10 Jun 2015 3:52AM

Hi. I'm prudence stone. I'm interested in the smoking questions remaining in the census.


Sophie Davies Wed 10 Jun 2015 10:35PM

@prudencestone great to see another person from the Wellington workshop on Loomio! And thanks for contributing your expertise to the smoking discussion, you've made some great points


Steven Wilkinson Thu 11 Jun 2015 5:00AM

Hello everyone, My names Steven, I live in Golden Bay, I see myself as just an average kiwi, I'm university educated, but like most people in my area don't use it.

I feel privileged to be able to be part of the group.


Margaret Anne Keys Thu 11 Jun 2015 7:43PM

Hello. I live in Glenfield but am moving to Wanganui soon. I have been interested in census for a long time, and have worked as an enumerator and district supervisor. You might call me a census junkie. As a teacher I have used the data, and as a business person I have too.


Sophie Davies Thu 11 Jun 2015 9:35PM

Hi @stevenwilkinson and @margaretannekeys welcome to the group! Great to have some more members of the public on board and we love to hear that there's still some "census junkies" out there! Look forward to your participation over the next two and a half weeks


Lisa Meehan Wed 17 Jun 2015 2:31AM

Hi. I'm a microdata researcher who has used SoFIE, HES and IDI unit record data. Any views I express here are my own and not those of my employer. I am interested in this as I may at some point use census microdata.


Sophie Davies Wed 17 Jun 2015 2:48AM

Hi @lisameehan thanks for the introduction and good to have another interested data user involved. Here's a link to the income, families and households and work discussions that you may be particularly interested in. A reminder that this discussion forum closes on the 30th of June so look forward to hearing your thoughts before it closes!


David Lane Wed 17 Jun 2015 6:15AM

Kia ora. I like statistics so I want to participate in the forum(s). Have a good day.


Sophie Davies Wed 17 Jun 2015 10:00PM

Hi @davidlane thanks for joining the group - are you representing any organisation or just an interested citizen? Good to see you've got involved in the ethnicity discussion already!


David Lane Wed 17 Jun 2015 10:07PM

Just an interested citizen. I work as a contractor doing data analysis and reporting so I have had a relationship with stats NZ for over 10 years. I get stats NZ reminders from Henriette Rawlings. Yeah, I do not want "New Zealander" in the census so I waded on into that discussion! Thanks for asking.


Theo Brandt Wed 17 Jun 2015 10:36PM

Hello all! I work at the University of Auckland with a few different organisations- including the Immunisation Advisory Centre, Whakawhetu (SUDI Prevention). As well as the ethnicity question I am most interested in population and DHB - based information. cheers Theo Brandt


Sophie Davies Thu 18 Jun 2015 12:26AM

Hi @theobrandt thanks for the introduction! Look forward to hearing your thoughts over the last two weeks on our proposed content for 2018 Census


Tim Robinson Thu 18 Jun 2015 9:51AM

Hi all; I'm an Architect specialising in urban design and volume housing design. Perhaps unsurprisingly I'm particularly interested in the dwellings part of the census, having worked for community housing organisations, design practices and local government. I'm passionate about actually improving housing quality rather than just analysing and talking about it.


Sophie Davies Thu 18 Jun 2015 10:12PM

Hi @timrobinson1 welcome to the group! Good to hear a bit about your background and good to see you've found your way to the housing quality discussion already


Eunice Sio Thu 25 Jun 2015 3:01AM

Hi this is my first time on the forum, I am so glad I googled it because I didn't realise this existed.


Sophie Davies Thu 25 Jun 2015 11:14PM

Hi @eunicesio great to still have people joining the group! You've still got a few days to get involved so it'd be great to hear your views before the forum closes on Tuesday the 30th of June


Phillipa Gaines Thu 25 Jun 2015 11:51PM

I went looking for some sub-folders but I cannot find any so I assume that we just post our ideas into this welcome folder?


Sophie Davies Thu 25 Jun 2015 11:53PM

Hi @phillipagaines no we have a sub group for every census topic which is listed on the right hand side when you are on the home page. However I can link you to the topics you are interested in so which ones were you wishing to comment on?


Phillipa Gaines Thu 25 Jun 2015 11:56PM

Hi again. I thought that I had introduced myself, but I cannot see my intro, so obviously not. I work with Platform Trust which is a peak body for mental health and addiction NGOs in New Zealand. I am interested in the collection and use of administrative data about the general population so that comparisons can be made with the sub-population of people who experience mental illness. I am particularly interested in how we achieve equity in our society.


Phillipa Gaines Fri 26 Jun 2015 12:23AM

I am not sure why 'unpaid activities' is being proposed as something that should come out of the census. Stats NZ estimated that for the 2003/04 year the market value of volunteer work in non-profit organisations was $3.3 billion. I am aware that unpaid work is specifically excluded from the GDP measure but if we adopt a well-being economics framework rather than a more traditional economic lens, then we should be interested in measuring 'unpaid activity' because it is strongly linked to positive individual functioning and greater social cohesion.


Sophie Davies Fri 26 Jun 2015 12:29AM

Hi @phillipagaines thanks for the introduction and your thoughts on unpaid activities. Here is a link to that unpaid activities discussion so would be great for you to share your thoughts in there. You may also be interested in commenting on the health topic so here is a link to view those discussions. If you are having trouble finding anything else let me know!


Phillipa Gaines Fri 26 Jun 2015 12:32AM

My next question is to what extent the census should pick up on those questions in the NZ General Social Survey that have been proven to be significant (eg, health, income adequacy, housing quality and relationships). I note that housing quality is being proposed as a new addition which is great. In the same vein people could be asked to self-assess whether or not they felt that their income was adequate to meet their needs. We already know this is a problem based on a 2014 study by Quigley & Watts. Census data would provide a greater level of insight into the issues for specific sub-groups of the population


Sophie Davies Fri 26 Jun 2015 2:39AM

When deciding on the content for the census we have to think about priorities for inclusion and when there is proposed new content we need to assess what information could be possibly be collected from alternative sources. We need to find the right balance between improving the range of data and respondent burden. The General Social Survey is also more qualitative compared with the census and it needs to be taken into account the fact that the census is a self complete survey as this affects the amount of detail that can be collected


Frances Horton Sat 27 Jun 2015 11:12AM

Hi Sophie and Phillipa,
I'm a member of the public, I don't have a statistical background and I'm not a data user.
But there must be a difference between Census-taking: which is compulsory [and we must respond or face certain consequences? Don't know what they are, and I've never heard of anyone being prosecuted for not completing Census forms] and non compulsory Surveys,
Other surveys mentioned frequently in Loomio threads seem to be either voluntary or randomly selected. [I don't know how respondents are found for things like General Social Survey]
But surely it would make a profound difference to the data obtained - if one set of data is from a compulsory and official Census, and the other from an opt-in Survey?

If one same question was asked in Census and again in say, the General Social survey, perhaps it would be fascinating to compare the results?


Phillipa Gaines Sun 28 Jun 2015 9:07PM

Thanks Frances, I agree with you. I am slightly concerned that other surveys do not adequately represent the diversity of the NZ population. For example, the NZ General Social Survey has produced some very important findings about the drivers of life satisfaction in NZ, but I wonder to what extent these drivers can be generalised to particular sub-groups of the population beyond what has been done to understand Maori wellbeing in the NZGSS study called 'Te Kupenga'.


Robyn Johnston Mon 29 Jun 2015 5:01AM

I just heard about this forum. I am a mature PhD candidate at the University of Canterbury. I am looking at the wellbeing of residents in retirement villages. I am particularly interested in those that have purchased a licence to occupy. These people seem to be a group that is often invisible. People in the community believe that those in this group "are in care" while in fact they are living independently in the majority of cases. This is a growing group among the older members of the community. It would be great to know more about them national via the census.