September 25, 2019
Census data unusable for Māori planners
A member of the independent expert data panel for Census 2018 says the data is good enough for setting electoral boundaries, but it doesn't deliver what iwi need.
Stats NZ won't be able to release official iwi data because forms were only collected from 68 percent of Māori.
Dr Tahu Kukutai says the undercount, with gaps filled in from administrative data held by other government agencies, means analysts will need to be take more care when using much of the data.
The change in methodology means much of Census 2018 data can't be compared with earlier censuses, such as the 29 percent jump in the Māori population from 14.9 percent of the total to 16.5 percent.
"Now in the previous census period the growth was only 6 percent. That's a massive difference and most of that difference isn't due to changing demography. A large part is due to changing methodology. That makes it hard for Māori organsiations, for iwi, for community groups to use data in the way they want to, if it becomes difficult to use, and in some cases unusable," Dr Kukutai says.
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