Thousands of census collectors hit streets
An army of more than 7000, carrying distinctive blue bags, started a march across the country on Saturday, delivering important papers to every household. Census Day 2013 is on Tuesday, March 5. On this day the Statistics Department gathers as complete a picture as possible of how many people are in the country and where they live. The information is used to help government departments make decisions on future roading and transport needs, schools, hospitals and other services. Many other organisations are also able to use the information once it is collated. This year it is hoped more people will take advantage of filling out their census papers online, once they have received their paper copies with the pertinent numbers written in the top right-hand corner, and their internet access code. This safe and secure option makes it very easy to fill in the forms as it takes away any questions that do not have to be answered by the individual or the householder. 2013 Census general manager Carol Slappendel said this census was one of the most important in recent times as it followed the cancellation of the 2011 Census following the Christchurch earthquake in February that year. ‘‘We know Government, local government, and many others are keenly awaiting the results of this census so that they can use the information to make wellinformed decisions for our country and communities in the future.’’ To achieve an accurate count of the population in the 2013 Census, Statistics New Zealand is employing more than 7500 temporary workers in jobs including district supervisors, community liaison advisers, and census collectors. Collectors will visit about 1.8 million homes, delivering 6.4 million census forms (4.6 million individual and 1.8 million dwelling forms), and internet access codes. It is a legal requirement that everyone who is in New Zealand on March 5, 2013 must fill in a census form. Any inquiries can be answered on the helpline, 0800CENSUS (0800 236 787).