What's a census?

Every five years, we run the census – our official count of the people and dwellings in New Zealand. 

Ia rima tau ka whakahaere mātou te tatauranga - te kaute ā-ture o ngā tāngata e noho ana i Aotearoa me ō rātou whare noho.

How does it work?

We take a snapshot of who is living in, and visiting, New Zealand by asking everyone to complete a set of questions about themselves and their household on census day. 

The data we collect is used by government, councils, iwi, businesses and community groups all over New Zealand to help them make informed decisions and plan services that work for their communities.

Preparing for the census

To help us get ready, we’re running a census test in Whanganui on Tuesday 4 April 2017. 

We’re asking 19,000 households in Whanganui to help us test our new system, by completing their census information online. We’re also testing the ways that we get in touch with people to let them know how to take part in the census. 

Reflecting changes in our society

Making sure we collect information that reflects changes in society is another important part of preparing for the census.

In this test, we’re testing some new questions that we might include in the next census. We’re checking if we can collect data on topics via the census that keeps the questionnaire as simple as possible but also meets our need for statistical quality.