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2017 Agricultural Production Census – information for farmers

Image, Agricultural Production Census banner.

Why Stats NZ is carrying out this census          

The main purpose of the Agricultural Production Census is to provide up-to-date and reliable statistics on agriculture and forestry. Information ultimately benefits farmers and all New Zealanders. Figures quoted in news media usually come from the census.

Stats NZ carries out the census, which is fully funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries. Statistics are used to: 

  • inform trade negotiations on issues such as increased access and lower tariffs
  • forecast work for the agriculture sector
  • prepare policy advice, including the potential effects of policies on primary producers
  • monitor the state of the agriculture sector and its contribution to the New Zealand economy
  • inform planning and investment decisions by central and local government and the private sector
  • fulfil duties and commitments to various international organisations of which New Zealand is a member.

Agricultural statistics are used by the farming and industrial sectors, government, researchers, and community groups.

Who takes part in the census

This year everyone involved in agriculture, horticulture or forestry takes part. It’s like doing the population census every five years. About 60,000 people will complete the census.

Census is compulsory

Your information is so important for New Zealand that you are required by law to complete the census.

Date of the census

Agricultural Production Census packs will be posted in early July 2017.

How often the census happens

Stats NZ carries out a census every five years. In other years a sample of people in certain agricultural sectors are surveyed.

How to complete the census questionnaire

You can complete the census questionnaire online or by filling in a paper questionnaire. Instructions are in the information pack you will receive in the post.

Your information is kept safe

Stats NZ and the Ministry for Primary Industries keep your information secure and confidential.

People not involved in agriculture activities

If you receive an information pack but you're not involved in agriculture, please contact the census help desk:

We will clarify which questions you need to answer.

Page updated 30 June 2017

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