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Census tests – information for participants

Why are you carrying out census tests?

We are preparing for the 2018 Census. In March 2016, we tested our address list, collection model, processes, and the software and technology being developed for a modernised census in 2018. 

In July 2016, we tested our forms, particularly the new questions and those we have changed, to find out if they are ready to be included in the 2018 Census.

In April 2017, we will test all of our processes and systems together. This test will be held in Whanganui and will involve approximately 19,000 households.

The information collected in the census tests will help us plan for the 2018 Census.

Do I have to take part in the census tests?

Participation in the census tests is voluntary and we appreciate you doing your part to help. 

Who takes part in the census tests? How did you select me?

Households are selected from across New Zealand to take part in the census tests.

In March 2016, 22,000 households in sample areas from the Auckland, Waikato, Wellington, and Canterbury regions participated.

In July 2016, approximately 8,000 households were asked to test the paper census form, and 25,000 people were asked to test the online census form. 

In April 2017, we will be asking approximately 19,000 households in Whanganui to help us get ready for the 2018 Census.

When do you carry out the census tests?

The next census test will be in April 2017. In 2016, we ran tests in March and July.

How can I complete the Census Test form?

Most households selected for the Census Test in April 2017 will receive a letter in their mailbox with instructions on how to participate. Some households will receive hand-delivered packs. Paper forms will be available upon request.

What happens to my information from the census tests?

The information you provide is kept secure by Statistics New Zealand. It is protected under the Statistics Act 1975 and the Privacy Act 1993, and will be used to help plan for the 2018 Census.

The data will be destroyed once the 2018 Census forms are finalised. 

See Privacy, security, and confidentiality of information supplied to Statistics NZ

Page updated 10 February 2017 

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