March 04, 2013
Census aims to lift Māori participation
It's Census day, and Statistics New Zealand is keen to boost Māori participation.
Politicians, health advocates, educators, youth and iwi leaders have in recent weeks been deployed to talk up the exercise.
Labour MP Shane Jones says the census provides the information central and local government need to allocate funding for roads, schools, hospitals and other services.
It also provides the data needed to set alongside the Māori electoral option later this month to determine how many Māori seats there will be in parliament.
Statistics Department spokesperson Luke Crawford says traditionally there has been a high Māori undercount in some areas, in part because some people are concerned about how the data could be used.
He says all individual information collected is confidential to the Census, so census collectors will not inform on people if they are living in illegal circumstances.
The most recent estimate of the Māori population at the end of June 2013 stood at 682,200.
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