Use and Trust in Official Statistics Survey
Official statistics are the cornerstone of effective government. They underpin democracy by providing New Zealanders with credible information to enable us to monitor and understand our society.
Statistics New Zealand is the main provider of official statistics but also has a leadership role over all official statistics that are produced across government (known as the Official Statistics System). This ensures effective coordination and avoids unnecessary duplication of requests for information.
It is crucial that people who use official statistics trust them. It’s also important for people who participate in our surveys, to encourage their cooperation. The OECD Committee on Statistics has recognised the importance of trust, and established a working party to develop a way of measuring it. This collaborative approach enables some international comparability with results. New Zealand participated in this working group, which resulted in the development of a draft questionnaire.
In keeping with the Treaty of Waitangi, Statistics NZ recognises Māori as tangata whenua. We recognised the need for baseline information about Māori use and trust in official statistics, so we can monitor our commitment to strengthen effectiveness for Māori.
To meet all three needs, we developed a survey based on the OECD recommended approach and adapted it to cover both Statistics NZ and the Official Statistics System, and to include a sufficient sample of Māori.
The survey asked questions about respondents’ level of awareness of government statistics, their trust and use of them, the importance of the statistics, and how they accessed statistics.
An external agency, Research New Zealand, was commissioned to collect the data to preserve independence of the results. Their findings are outlined in this report, Use and Trust in Official Statistics Survey 2010.
Statistics NZ is committed to developing deeper knowledge about the use of, and opinions about, official statistics by key groups. We want to grow the number of users and the uses of official statistics, so that greater value can be obtained from the Government’s investment in producing them.
Published November 2010