March 09, 2023
Maori Party eyes Census shortfall
Maori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi says he’s not confident the shortfall of Census 2018 for Maori won’t be repeated.
Statistics Minister Deborah Rusell says 1.5 million people completed their census forms online by Tuesday, the official census day.
That number will grow as paper forms come in, and people in the cyclone-hit areas of Taitokerau, Tairawhiti and Hawke’s Bay have another seven weeks to complete their forms, with extra resources being put into those areas including partnerships with iwi.
Mr Waititi says there’s a lot that affects Maori that mainstream New Zealand does not see – and he still fears a repeat of the last census.
“They lost 50,000 in 2018, we believe it’s more. We think it’s closer to 100,000 Maori. Because this is not suited for Maori. This is suited for those who own homes. It’s not the transient communities, our people, they’re renters, you know, the 4000 people living in emergency housing. And now we’re affected by floods… people are actually homeless,” he says.
Mr Waititi says many Maori don’t use the internet and distrust government data collection, unless other Maori speak to them face-to-face.