2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from engagement and consultation

 
2018 Census content:
Summary of feedback from engagement
                      and consultation

             1
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Citation
Statistics New Zealand (2015). 2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from
engagement and consultation. Available from www.stats.govt.nz.

ISBN 978-0-908350-22-3 (online)

Published in December 2015 by
Statistics New Zealand
Tatauranga Aotearoa
Wellington, New Zealand

Contact
Statistics New Zealand Information Centre: info@stats.govt.nz
Phone toll-free 0508 525 525
Phone international +64 4 931 4600
www.stats.govt.nz

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Contents
      1 Purpose and summary ..................................................................................................4
          Purpose............................................................................................................................4
          Summary..........................................................................................................................4

      2 Background ....................................................................................................................5
          Purpose and uses of the census .....................................................................................5
          Progress since 2013 Census: reviewing content and transforming the census .............5
          New collection methods for 2018 ....................................................................................5
          How we’re determining 2018 Census content.................................................................5

      3 Engagement and consultation results ........................................................................8
          Overview of online engagement ......................................................................................8
          Overview of face-to-face engagement ............................................................................8
          Overview of formal submissions ......................................................................................8

      4 Submissions and discussions about recommended content ................................10
          Location .........................................................................................................................11
          Second residence ..........................................................................................................12
          Ethnicity, culture, and identity ........................................................................................12
          Education and training ...................................................................................................15
          Work ...............................................................................................................................15
          Income ...........................................................................................................................16
          Families and households ...............................................................................................17
          Housing ..........................................................................................................................17
          Telecommunications ......................................................................................................20
          Transport........................................................................................................................20
          Health.............................................................................................................................22

      5 Next steps in determining content for 2018 Census ...............................................24
          1. Evaluate feedback from consultation and engagement ............................................24
          2. Develop survey, test content, and research complex topics .....................................24
          3. Run Census Test: March 2016 ..................................................................................24
          4. Test recommended content .......................................................................................24
          5. Run complete test: March 2017 ................................................................................24
          6. Sign off and publish decision on final content ...........................................................24

      Appendix: Number of submissions, by topic and customer segment .......................25

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1 Purpose and summary

      Purpose
      The purpose of this report is to summarise the feedback we received about the
      Preliminary view of 2018 Census content. Our engagement and consultation included a
      formal submission period, an online discussion forum, and face-to-face workshops. The
      report summarises feedback received from all three collection methods.

      This report will inform final decisions about 2018 Census content, to be published in
      2017.

      Summary
      Determining census content is one of the first steps in each census cycle. To determine
      content for the 2018 Census we have proactively engaged and consulted with our
      customers. We used new methods to find out what customers think about our proposed
      content, and received feedback from a wide range of people. The feedback provided
      useful insights about each topic and the needs of our customers.

      In the engagement and consultation on our preliminary view of census content:
            226 people participated in the online engagement
            176 people made formal submissions
            128 people attended the face-to-face workshops.

      This report summarises the submissions, online discussions, and comments we received
      from workshop participants. The two topics that received the most feedback were ones
      we recommended excluding from the 2018 Census. Gender identity had the most online
      comments (163) and unpaid activities received the most submissions (59).

      We are now evaluating the feedback using our content determination framework.

      The results will help us in our next steps to determining content for the 2018 Census. We
      plan to make our final decisions soon after running a complete test of our processes,
      systems, and questionnaires in 2017. This is later in the census cycle than usual, to allow
      for more extensive testing of census content.

                                              4
2 Background

      Purpose and uses of the census
      The New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings forms the basis of population and
      social statistics. The purpose of the census is to provide an official count of the population
      and dwellings in New Zealand and to provide timely and accurate statistics to census
      customers.

      Census data enables accurate population projections and estimates. It underpins
      decisions about policy development, funding allocation, and service provision. It is also
      used to determine the general and Māori electoral boundaries.

      The main advantage the census has over other surveys is that it provides data down to a
      neighbourhood level and in-depth information about the characteristics of small
      population groups.

      Progress since 2013 Census: reviewing content and
      transforming the census
      For the last two censuses we followed a strategy of minimal change, but there is more
      scope for change in 2018. Since the 2013 Census content was developed we have
      worked to further our knowledge and understanding of the range of census data uses.
      After the census in 2013 we did a comprehensive stocktake with our key customers. This
      entailed running workshops and updating the specific uses of census data. Following this
      stocktake we completed a user consultation in which customers completed an online
      survey about the census data they use. We received 260 responses.

      Our long-term vision (outlined in Census transformation in New Zealand) is to produce
      census information directly from administrative sources, where possible. Ongoing
      investigations have improved our understanding of how the 2018 Census can use
      administrative data to improve the quality of census data. Further work is required to
      understand to what extent administrative data sources can replace current census and
      population statistics in the future.

      The census transformation research, the user consultation survey, the stocktake, the
      quality of 2013 data, feedback from previous consultations, and international
      developments contributed to our preliminary view of 2018 Census content.

      New collection methods for 2018
      The 2018 Census is moving away from traditional collection methods towards a more
      modern approach. We are radically altering the methods in the current collection model,
      by introducing mail-out, not delivering paper forms to every dwelling, and making the
      internet the primary response mode. Key drivers for a modernised census are rising
      costs, advances in technology, and lack of sustainability of the traditional model. We will
      also be using more administrative data in the 2018 Census to supplement the information
      collected.

      How we’re determining 2018 Census content
      Determining census content is one of the first steps in each census cycle. The 2018
      Census has greater scope for content change compared with the previous two censuses,
      which were minimal-change censuses. However, when deciding on census content we
      must find a balance between maintaining relevance and ensuring data quality and
      consistency over time.

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2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from engagement and consultation

Content affects other areas of the census programme and the wider official statistics
system, so the process must be efficient and thorough. Our aim is to understand
customer information needs and maximise the effective use of all available data sources
in developing statistical solutions to meet those needs. We consider the wider statistical
system when responding to customer needs for data.

To determine final census content we:

      undertake public engagement and consultation – these are the first steps in
       census content development
      carry out survey development, which includes further research, development of
       the questionnaires, and testing. Testing includes cognitive testing of questions,
       mass completion tests, a field test in 2016, and a dress rehearsal in 2017
      consider questionnaire constraints, real-world change, respondent burden,
       classification reviews, and international trends.

We will publish a report on 2018 Census final content soon after the dress rehearsal in
2017. The final content decisions are made by the Government Statistician.

Public engagement and consultation process
Engagement and consultation play a major role in ensuring that the census content
remains relevant and reflects real-world change. This census cycle we undertook
engagement and consultation using three different methods. We held face-to-face
seminars and workshops in five main centres, ran a public online discussion forum, and
accepted formal submissions.

The purpose of using three different methods was to move towards modernisation and to
engage with a wider range of people than we have in previous census content
consultations.

We promoted our engagement and consultation with public notices in the local
newspapers, newsletters to over 3,000 census data users, social media posts, targeted
emails, and phone calls to our key stakeholders.

The engagement and consultation started in late 2014 with online engagement with
Statistics NZ staff and initial meetings with key agencies.

Online engagement
Online engagement consisted of two phases: engagement with Statistics NZ staff, and
public engagement.

The online engagement with Statistics NZ staff used a discussion forum tool called
Loomio and ran over a four-week period from 24 November–19 December 2014. This
online engagement involved subject matter area experts from Statistics NZ. It helped us
test the functionality of Loomio and formulate our preliminary view of 2018 Census
content, which the public were subsequently invited to discuss and submit on.

Public online engagement ran over nine weeks from 30 April–30 June 2015 using the
Loomio discussion forum. This is the first time Statistics NZ has conducted live,
supported public online engagement. It was a unique opportunity for the public to have
their say about census content and for us to learn to engage with the public in this way.

Face-to-face engagement
Throughout May 2015 we also ran face-to-face seminars and workshops in Auckland,
Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin for a small group of technical experts.
The seminars were an introduction to the modernised 2018 Census and a general

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2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from engagement and consultation

overview of census content. The workshops included a detailed run-through of the
content for each topic.

Formal submissions
The formal submission period started two weeks after online engagement, on 18 May,
and closed on 30 June 2015. We did this to encourage people to discuss and develop
their thinking with others on the discussion forum before making formal submissions.

For formal submissions, we encouraged people to fill in a form on the Statistics NZ
website, but also accepted email and paper submissions. This approach was in line with
our digital-first goal for the 2018 Census.

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3 Engagement and consultation results

       Overview of online engagement
       A total of 226 people signed up to our online engagement, and posted 1,079 comments.
       As well as the people who signed up and commented, the number of interested people is
       reflected by the 4,131 page views received throughout the engagement period. A range
       of individuals participated, and most census topics were discussed.

       Overview of face-to-face engagement
       A total of 128 members of the public attended our workshops and seminars across the
       five sites. Participants came from a range of organisations, particularly central and local
       government. The large number of census topics meant it was difficult to go into detail
       about each of them. Therefore we mainly used these sessions to promote the online
       discussion forum and encourage participants to make formal submissions.

       Overview of formal submissions
       A total of 176 individuals and organisations submitted during the public consultation
       period. Many of the submitters provided feedback on multiple topics. There was
       representation from central government, local government, non-government
       organisations, interest groups, academics, researchers, health boards, and individuals.

       Note that submissions from a single organisation often represent the collective views of
       multiple key stakeholders within that organisation or group.

       Figure 1 shows the number of submissions from each customer segment. Health boards
       are usually treated as a subset of central government; however, because of the number
       of submissions they made and their importance to us as customers, we have separated
       them out.

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2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from engagement and consultation

Figure 1
1. N umber of submissi ons on 2018 C ensus content, by c ustomer seg ment

                                                                                               9
4 Submissions and discussions about recommended
  content
      This section outlines the feedback we received about each topic from online engagement,
      face-to-face engagement, and formal submissions. For an overview of which groups
      submitted on each topic, see the appendix.

      Population structure
      Sex – 9 submissions, 41 comments online
      The Statistics Act 1975 requires the census to collect this information. It is a fundamental
      characteristic used in social and population analysis. We have only ever collected data on
      males and females in the census – however, our proposed recommendation was to
      explore the possibility of collecting information on those who are biologically intersex.

      The many comments online about this topic strongly supported adding a third response
      option. There was a lot of discussion about what this third option should be. Most
      commenters agreed that either ‘intersex’, or ‘indeterminate’ – which is now recorded on
      New Zealand passports and drivers licences – would be sufficient. Commenters also
      noted that currently it is unclear to them whether we are collecting sex or gender.

      Most submissions supported adding a third response option, as currently there is no
      accurate population count for this group and this data is crucial for enabling organisations
      to fill the service gaps. However, a couple of submissions and face-to-face workshop
      participants were strongly against adding another response option, as they were
      concerned this change would undermine data quality and usability.

      Number of children born alive – 8 submissions, 5 comments online
      This has historically been considered a cyclic topic, which means it used to be only
      included every second census. Since it was included in the 2013 Census, we sought
      feedback from customers about whether it is needed in 2018.

      There was little interest in this topic online, but there was strong support from submitters
      to collect this information again in 2018. They stated that this topic gives invaluable
      information about our changing ethnic composition and our ageing population. It was also
      noted that it gives crucial information on childlessness, which has important
      consequences on health resourcing and social well-being.

      The preliminary view of content mentioned that fertility has not changed much since
      2013, so it may not need to be collected in 2018. Submitters disregarded this, explaining
      that due to New Zealand’s large-scale international migration and fertility behaviour
      changes, we should not assume stability.

      Legally registered relationship status and partnership in current
      relationship – 6 submissions, 3 comments online
      We recommended that people’s ‘partnership in current relationship’ status be collected,
      but sought feedback on whether it was still important to collect legal relationship status.
      The feedback indicated that it is still important to collect both of these topics, as they are
      associated with many health and social outcomes and play a key role in understanding
      couple relationships, family and household composition, and stepfamilies. It was also
      noted that data on legal relationship status is used for modelling purposes and to derive
      marital rates and ex-nuptial birth rates.

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2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from engagement and consultation

Age, name, number of occupants on census night, and absentees
– 4 submissions, 10 comments online
We recommended including these topics with no change. All feedback supported these
recommendations.

Location
Usual residence one year ago – 20 submissions, 6 comments
online
This topic has only been included once before, in 1981; however, we proposed it be
included in the 2018 Census. All 20 submissions strongly supported the recommendation.
Submitters explained that this information would help with understanding internal
migration and housing mobility among population subgroups, and would help community
economic development work. Many local councils submitted on this, saying this data
would be useful for improving the accuracy of subnational population estimates and for
monitoring newcomer settlement and social cohesion in each region.

There was, however, concern about respondent burden. Currently we collect up to four
addresses in the census. Adding this question would increase respondent burden, which
could affect the quality of the data. Submitters suggested this could be reduced by routing
on the online form, and allowing people to easily skip questions on the paper forms if their
address is the same for multiple questions.

There was minimal discussion online and in the face-to-face workshops. The main point
raised was that this information would be useful for civil defence and emergency
management planning as people who have lived in an area for longer than one year are
likely to know the local hazards and therefore be better prepared for an emergency.

Usual residence five years ago – 8 submissions, 11 comments
online
We recommended including this topic with no changes. There was very little online
discussion, but it was discussed in the face-to-face workshops, and eight submissions
were made. All submitters and face-to-face workshop participants supported continuing to
collect this information. Their main reasons were that this information helps with
understanding and monitoring population change, and contributes to long-term planning
for councils.

Years at usual residence – 15 submissions, 1 comment online
We sought feedback on whether information on years at usual residence still needs to be
collected, given our recommendation to include usual residence one year ago. All
submissions except one strongly supported continuing to collect this information. The
face-to-face workshop attendees also supported its inclusion.

Submitters explained that this information gives a greater understanding of the stability of
communities. They said it enables a longer-term view about residential mobility, which
has been shown to affect health and well-being. It was also stated that our ageing
population makes this information increasingly important, as it gives an insight as to
whether this older group continue to live in their family homes or seek alternative
accommodation. One submitter did not recommend collecting this data, stating there had
been little change in this data since the last census and therefore using 2013 Census
data would suffice.

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2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from engagement and consultation

Usual residence, address on census night, address of dwelling – 9
submissions, 23 comments online
This information is required by the Statistics Act 1975 and we recommended no change
to these topics. All feedback received supported these recommendations.

Second residence
Second residence – 23 submissions, 49 comments online
Second residence is a proposed new topic for the 2018 Census. We sought feedback on
what types of information would be of the greatest value and highest priority to collect.

There was a high level of interest online, in the submissions, and in the face-to-face
workshops about the possible inclusion of this topic. Most people who provided feedback
fully supported collecting this information. Others were in support but thought we should
investigate further before deciding.

People had differing views about what types of information are needed. The main need
identified in both the online discussion and the submissions was about getting a better
understanding of children in shared living arrangements. People explained that this type
of situation is becoming more common and having this information would be useful for
schools, health providers, and other community resource providers. They also noted that
this data would help provide a greater understanding of family dynamics and household
composition.

The other information need identified was getting a more complete picture of the New
Zealand housing stock. Currently approximately 10 percent of residences are
unoccupied. Feedback received explained that it is crucial that we collect information on
the purpose of this second residence (eg holiday homes) and the facilities these
dwellings have.

Some people were concerned about respondent burden. To collect useful information on
this topic we would probably need to ask more than one question, thus increasing the
number of address questions already in the census.

Ethnicity, culture, and identity
Ethnicity – 19 submissions, 55 comments online
As a core census topic, ethnicity is given the highest priority in terms of quality, time, and
resources across the census cycle. Collecting ethnicity information in the census is
required under the Statistics Act 1975. We proposed including this with no change for the
2018 Census; however, there were mixed views on this recommendation. Initially the
discussion online focused on the ‘New Zealander’ response category. Most commenters
thought the ‘New Zealand European’ category was insufficient and a ‘New Zealander’ tick
box should be included, as that is how they self-identify.

Other commenters outlined the reasons for retaining the question in its current format.
They explained that a ‘New Zealander’ tick box would be meaningless, because all New
Zealand citizens could identify this way. Most submitters and face-to-face participants
agreed with this. They stated that different ethnic groups have different needs and adding
a ‘New Zealander’ tick box would make the data captured of less value.

A few submitters said they would like more output detail and that we should be prompting
people to put down their specific ethnicity rather than just ticking the broader categories.
Most submitters, however, supported retaining this topic in its current format, saying

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2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from engagement and consultation

consistency over time is important, and small changes can have big impacts on the
quality and usefulness of data.

Birthplace – 9 submissions, 0 comments online
Our recommendation for this topic was inclusion with no change. All submitters were in
support of inclusion. One submitter recommended collecting more geographic detail
about people’s place of birth rather than just collecting country of birth, as this would
allow for better understanding of internal migration and sources of migrant populations.

Years since arrival in New Zealand – 10 submissions, 9 comments
online
All submitters were in support of our recommendation for this topic, which was inclusion
with no change.

Generational attachment – 6 submissions, 7 comments online
Generational attachment refers to information on the origin of respondents’ parents for
the purpose of understanding long-term migrant outcomes.

This topic has never been included in the census before. We again recommended
excluding it from the 2018 Census, due to the complexity of the topic. The online
commenters were against this recommendation, saying information about people’s
Pākehā background is of interest. Most of the submitters and face-to-face workshop
attendees, however, agreed it would be too difficult to collect this information in the
census.

Citizenship – 7 submissions, 11 comments online
Our proposed recommendation was for citizenship to be excluded from the 2018 Census
due to potential difficulties in measuring it. Some information on citizenship is collected
when people arrive in New Zealand and from visa applications; however, it has not been
collected in the census before.

Most feedback agreed with our recommendation, as information would be difficult to
collect. The few people who thought this information should be collected were interested
in information on dual citizenships, and in using this information alongside tenure of
household to better understand the Auckland housing situation.

Māori descent – 21 submissions, 3 comments online
There was unanimous agreement on the importance of this information. There was also
strong support for our recommendation to investigate options to reduce the non-response
rate for this question.

Iwi affiliation – 25 submissions, 23 comments online
We proposed that the iwi affiliation topic be included. The iwi statistical standard and iwi
classification are under review. This review will be completed in time to be considered in
the census content development work.

In the face-to-face workshops people agreed with the proposed recommendation and
were mostly concerned about the outcome of the iwi classification review.

There were a few comments online about how important this data is for iwi planning and
future decision-making. There was also a suggestion to include iwi registration status to
help iwi understand their registered population in relation to their census population.

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2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from engagement and consultation

Several submissions were made about this topic, mainly about the relationship between
Māori descent and iwi and the addition of collecting iwi registration. Currently if
respondents do not state that they are of Māori descent, their answers to the iwi affiliation
question are not counted. Submitters recommended that anyone who answers the iwi
affiliation should be included in the total count, regardless of whether they are of Māori
descent. There were also some suggestions to collect information on hapū and marae to
enable better data quality.

Religious affiliation – 16 submissions, 47 comments online
All online commenters and face-to-face participants were in strong support of our
recommendation to include this topic with no change. The main reasons for
recommending inclusion were that this is important information for understanding society
due to New Zealand’s highly diverse population, it helps track the changing nature of
beliefs, and enables groups to plan their resources. There were also suggestions to
collect more information on religion, such as formal and informal beliefs and spiritual
beliefs.

The submissions were all in support of continuing to collect this information and there
were also suggestions to output more detail on subcategories of religion and smaller
religions. Specifically, people wanted published data on the non-church-based affiliations
and more information on people who state they have no religion.

Languages spoken – 10 submissions, 9 comments online
We proposed that this topic be included with no change. All feedback from the
submissions, online discussion forum, and face-to-face workshops agreed with this.
There were some suggestions for improvement such as including a measure for
language proficiency and also adding a tick box for the two main dialects of Chinese –
Mandarin and Cantonese.

Sexual orientation – 20 submissions, 45 comments online
Statistics NZ has never collected information on sexual orientation before and our
proposed recommendation was to not include this in the 2018 Census. The online
commenters all strongly disagreed with this recommendation. They stated that this
population group experiences higher rates of depression, bullying, suicide, and
homelessness, and that collecting accurate data on this group would help with getting
funding and targeting services, particularly in health care and education.

The submissions highlighted the same issues about this group being disadvantaged and
having distinct needs. Some submitters noted that since New Zealand law now
recognises same-sex marriages, we need to be collecting more information on this
population group. However, one submitter thought having this information in the census
would be useful eventually but that it should start by being collected in other surveys first.

Gender identity – 20 submissions, 163 comments online
As with the sexual orientation topic, most of the feedback we received was strongly
against our recommendation to exclude gender identity from the 2018 Census. Gender
identity received the most comments online. The main point was that there is an unmet
need for this information.

Commenters pointed out that currently there are no accurate figures about the number of
people who fall outside the male and female distinction. They explained that without
accurate data, this group will continue to struggle to get funding, which affects their ability
to access services. They said that these people have negative well-being outcomes such
as higher rates of mental illness, discrimination, and marginalisation and therefore are of
high policy interest.

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2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from engagement and consultation

Much discussion focused on the potential complexity of this topic and what the actual
question would look like. There were mixed views about whether the priority is to collect
data on every different gender identity or whether it is sufficient to collect broad
information on everyone that is not distinctly male or female. The general consensus was
that having any data, no matter how simple, would be better than the limited data they
currently have.

Most submitters also thought gender identity should be collected, for similar reasons as in
the online discussion. There was a focus on the importance of this information for
providing health services. One submitter recommended collecting this information in other
surveys first before including it in the census.

There wasn’t strong support from the face-to-face workshop attendees for collecting this
information. They thought it would be too complex to collect in the census, but indicated
that the Pacific community they work with may be very interested in this.

Education and training
Highest qualification and highest secondary school qualification –
11 submissions, 0 comments online
We received minimal feedback about this, with only a few submissions and no online
discussion. The submitters and face-to-face participants were all in favour of our
proposed recommendation to include these topics with no change.

Study participation – 17 submissions, 0 comments online
The submissions explained how valuable this information is, as it informs analysis about
work and labour force status, helps understand the environment people live in while
studying, and is essential for determining the social and economic drivers for education in
the 50+ age group.

We asked submitters for feedback about whether distinguishing between formal and
informal study would be of use and most stated that this is not important for them. Five
submitters did recommend that industry training be collected separately, as it would help
with understanding training levels across organisations and sectors and is of interest in
Christchurch given the nature of training for rebuild workers.

Post-school qualification – 17 submissions, 7 comments online
Our proposed recommendation for this topic was to include it, but to investigate ways to
improve the quality – such as changing it to a tick-box question and identifying whether
the qualification was gained overseas. Most of the feedback we received supported
changing this question to include a tick box as customers acknowledged the
improvements in data quality it would have. Most submitters also supported clearly
identifying overseas qualifications as it would help to assess the profile of that group, and
would be of interest in Christchurch given the large number of internationally trained
workers.

Work
Unpaid activities – 59 submissions, 56 comments online
We proposed that this topic not be included in the 2018 Census, mainly because of the
limitations the census has for collecting this data. Preliminary view of 2018 Census
content explains the full justification behind its proposed exclusion.

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2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from engagement and consultation

This was one of the most popular discussions online, and the topic that received the most
submissions. All comments and submissions strongly disagreed with our
recommendation. People expressed the importance of census information about unpaid
activities as it adds a unique contribution to the data collected in other surveys. It was
stated that census data is crucial due to its ability to give national counts and provide
information down to a neighbourhood level. People explained that the ability of census
data to be broken down by other topics such as age, sex, region, and ethnicity is
invaluable, as it helps give a much better understanding of the topic as a whole.

Previously we have collected information on a range of unpaid activities; however,
feedback indicated that data on volunteering is the most important. People explained that
volunteering is a significant contribution to the economy and society, so it must be
monitored and tracked accurately. Feedback also noted that the government policy about
volunteering, which states that it “supports initiatives to increase understanding of, and to
disseminate information about, volunteering,” needs to be taken into account.

As well as recommending we continue collecting information on unpaid activities, people
also wanted data on hours spent. The main reason being it would give a better
breakdown of the amount of volunteering going on across New Zealand, and would allow
for comparisons with other countries such as Australia, which also collect data on time
spent.

Hours worked per week, status in employment, veteran population,
workplace address, occupation, sector of ownership, industry, and
work and labour force status – 4 submissions, 22 comments online
The veteran population topic was recommended for exclusion and there was minimal
feedback about this. There was general support in the submissions for retaining the rest
of the paid work topics.

Other – 7 submissions, 0 comments online
There were seven submissions about the work topic in general, and some suggestions
for additional information people would like collected. A few submitters and attendees
from the face-to-face workshops wanted more information around temporary work to
monitor changes in the workforce, in particular for areas like Christchurch. There were
also suggestions to collect data on people who have multiple jobs, as this group is
increasing

Income
Sources of personal income – 16 submissions, 5 comments online
We recommended this topic be included in the 2018 Census. We also recommended that
the benefit categories, apart from NZ Superannuation, be collapsed into one category.

Most submitters disagreed with the recommendation to collapse the benefit categories.
Submitters explained that they use this information for subnational reporting, to assess
income adequacy, and to understand the demographic characteristics of these people.
Councils use this information for community planning and understanding the
requirements of their residents. There were only two comments online and they did not
support our recommendation.

Total personal income – 15 submissions, 6 comments online
The recommendation in the preliminary view was to review the income bands and
investigate possible ways to improve data quality. Most submitters agreed with the
recommendation and were most interested in increasing the top category. Although

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2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from engagement and consultation

supporting possible changes to the income bands, submitters also explained the
importance of data comparability over time and expressed concern about how changing
the bands may affect this. There was only one commenter in the discussion online who
supported collecting more detail about the higher incomes.

Submitters also supported investigating ways to improve data quality, particularly through
using administrative data to impute missing responses.

Families and households
Family type, household composition, extended family type, and
other existing family and household data – 9 submissions, 7
comments online
We proposed that the existing family and household information – such as family type,
household composition, and extended family type – be collected again in the 2018
Census. Although there was minimal online discussion and little interest from the face-to-
face attendees, several submissions agreed with this recommendation. Some
organisations highlighted the importance of collecting information about grandparents in a
parental role and others were interested in collecting data that better reflected whānau.
Submitters stated that the census is crucial for understanding families within households
and analysing the characteristics of people in different family types.

Stepfamilies – 15 submissions, 6 comments online
This was one of the few proposed new topics for the 2018 Census and there was mostly
positive feedback from the submissions about this change.

There were only six comments about stepfamilies online, but fifteen submissions. All
submitters apart from one supported collecting this data, noting that families are
becoming more diverse and the number of blended families are increasing. It was also
stated that this information would help give more comprehensive information about family
and household relationships.

There was, however, concern from one submitter about the complicated nature of this
topic. They noted that adding stepfamilies to the existing questions would become
complex, and that including it could have a negative effect on other families and
households data.

Housing
Housing quality – 32 submissions, 22 comments online
The census has not directly collected information on housing quality since 1986. Our
recommendation for the 2018 Census was that the possibility of collecting this data
needed to be explored further. The number of online comments was not high, but those
who did comment supported including this topic. Commenters focused on the negative
impact housing quality can have on health and well-being, and how this information would
be used to help local government improve the quality of the housing stock. Those
commenting felt that the basic amenities are the most important indicators to collect.

There was overwhelming support for this information from submissions and feedback
from the face-to-face workshops, with most recommending inclusion. People explained
that housing quality is a key determinant of health and well-being and therefore would
help inform public health action. They said this data would help better understand the
state of New Zealand’s housing and would help develop targeted strategies to address
inequalities resulting from poor housing.

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2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from engagement and consultation

Suggestions as to what exact information we should be collecting about housing quality
included coldness, dampness, insulation, presence of a water supply, working kitchen,
and sanitary facilities. The general consensus was that the census could only really ask
about basic aspects of housing quality, as otherwise respondents may find it difficult to
understand and answer accurately.

Mortgage payment amount – 17 submissions, 7 comments online
We wanted feedback on the need for this information to be collected in the census, as it
is another potential new topic. There was limited online discussion; however, most people
who commented agreed that collecting this information in the census wouldn’t give a
good enough understanding of housing affordability.

Submitters acknowledged the gap in mortgage payment information at the subnational
level, but had mixed opinions on whether this information should be collected in the
census. Those in support thought it would be useful for assessing home ownership
availability and would help inform the social sector and community planning.

Submitters not in support foresaw many issues with collecting this data in the census, as
it is a complex topic. Most of the face-to-face attendees agreed with this. They reasoned
that because mortgage payment amount depends on several factors (eg financial
constraints and loan length) and the census could only ask a simple question, the data
collected is likely to be meaningless. It was also noted that respondents may find
mortgage payment questions intrusive, which would increase non-response for this topic.

Fuel types used to heat dwellings – 24 submissions, 14 comments
online
Our preliminary view requested more information from people about whether collecting
this information in the census is still of value to them. In the 14 comments online, most of
the discussion focused on the need to collect information on heat pumps, and more
information on uptake of solar power.

Discussion in the face-to-face workshops and submissions identified how important this
information is for monitoring air quality and understanding emission trends. However,
these people recommended changing to collect information on appliances used for
heating as opposed to on fuel types used. The main reasons for changing were that
appliances data would be more useful for monitoring air quality and would help
distinguish between heat pumps and other heaters. This would assist with understanding
efficient fuel use.

Some people supported collecting information on main appliance used for heating as
opposed to collecting data on all appliances used. They thought information on main type
of heating would provide a clearer picture about heating types that are actually used.

Types of unoccupied dwellings (empty, residents away) – 14
submissions, 14 comments online
Our preliminary view asked whether customers still require us to distinguish between
unoccupied dwellings that are empty, and unoccupied dwellings that have residents
away. There was a reasonable amount of discussion online, as well as 14 submissions,
and much discussion in the face-to-face workshops about this topic.

People expressed support for continuing to distinguish between these types of
unoccupied dwellings, as this information helps provide a clearer picture of housing stock.
It is useful for councils, particularly when estimating holiday homes in specific locations. It
was also noted that this information is of value for civil defence and emergency
management planning – knowing how many people in an area require evacuation during
an emergency is critical.

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2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from engagement and consultation

Occupied dwelling type – 16 submissions, 33 comments online
We recommended that the top category for number of storeys be raised and also
recommended investigating other potential improvements to data quality.

Our suggestion was to raise the top category to 10 or more storeys, but online
commenters had mixed views on this. Some thought this would be helpful for
distinguishing between high- and low-rise apartments. Others thought this would be too
high, as it would only realistically apply to Auckland and Wellington. They thought having
a top category of eight would be sufficient.

Almost all of the submissions agreed with the proposed recommendation. The general
consensus was that the top category should be raised, with 10 being an acceptable top
category. Submitters explained that having this detailed information would be helpful for
understanding the role and function of apartment living in cities such as Auckland.

There was also support for changes to improve data quality, such as better identification
of non-private dwellings, and capturing more-accurate data on homelessness. The non-
private dwellings submitters were most interested in were boarding houses, motor camps,
night shelters, and residential care facilities for older people.

Tenure holder and tenure of household – 17 submissions, 21
comments online
Our recommendation for both of these topics was to continue to collect this data, but to
investigate ways to improve the information collected about family trusts and licences to
occupy. Tenure of household must be collected under the Statistics Act 1975.

There was limited discussion online about these topics, but there were 17 submissions. In
both the online discussion and the submissions, most people supported separately
identifying those in a ‘licence to occupy’ situation. They stated that this type of tenure is
becoming more common due to our ageing population and the increase in the number of
retirement villages. The feedback explained that this information would be helpful for
understanding changes in home ownership levels. It was also noted it would be useful for
councils, as when natural disasters occur people in this situation are vulnerable due to
complex insurance and contract processes.

A few submitters did not support this change, as they were concerned about the negative
effect on comparability over time. They stated that any changes made should preserve
comparability.

Sector of landlord – 15 submissions, 9 comments online
We recommended that ‘sector of landlord’ include housing providers not previously
included, such as community agencies, iwi, and hapū. There were only three commenters
online and they supported collecting more information on housing providers. The main
point they raised was that the new categories would have to be relatively specific –
‘community housing organisation’ wouldn’t be sufficient.

Submitters generally supported the change suggested in the preliminary view. They
stated that this information would help to monitor trends in social housing to ensure
housing policy and land use rules are adapted appropriately. They also explained that
having this information would enable a better understanding of the role each group has in
providing housing. They had mixed views on the number of new categories needed.

Number of bedrooms, number of rooms, dwelling counts, weekly
rent paid by household – 2 submissions, 13 comments online
Our preliminary view recommended no change to these topics. Almost all feedback
received supported these recommendations. We only got a few suggestions for possible

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2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from engagement and consultation

change, such as including functional crowding measures (asking how many people sleep
in each room) and extending the weekly rent question to ask for rent as a proportion of
income.

Other – Private dwellings within retirement villages – 12
submissions, 0 comments online
Outside the range of existing housing topics there were many suggestions from
submitters and some face-to-face attendees to collect information on private dwellings
within retirement villages. The main reason was because of New Zealand’s ageing
population and the increasing number of people living in retirement villages. These
people said the information would be used for developing policies, to understand the
extent of housing available for older people, and for planning services for residents of
retirement villages.

Telecommunications
Access to telecommunications – 19 submissions, 15 comments
online
Our recommendation was to continue collecting information about household access to
telecommunications, but to stop collecting data on access to fax machines.

Most feedback supported all of the recommendations. It was agreed that faxes are
becoming obsolete so it is no longer necessary to collect this information.

There was, however, some disagreement with the recommendation to continue collecting
information about household access. These people stated that due to
telecommunications becoming more individualised, it is more important to capture data
about individual access.

Many people, particularly in the face-to-face workshops, suggested collecting data on
quality of internet connection. People noted this is a key concern of the government,
evidenced by the current roll-out of ultra-fast broadband across the country. The
overarching reason for wanting this information was that it would help provide a greater
understanding of the digital divide. More specifically, feedback stated that this information
would be useful for service delivery, understanding how to best communicate with
communities, and understanding the limitations this has for business and infrastructure
planning.

Transport
Travel to work – 27 submissions, 50 comments online
We proposed including this topic in 2018, but suggested some change. Currently the
census collects information on people’s travel to work on census day. We wanted
feedback about whether people would prefer us to collect people’s usual travel to work.

There was a great deal of interest in this topic both in the online discussion and the
submissions. Most submitters and commenters suggested changing to collect usual
means of travel as it would include everyone who is employed, would more accurately
reflect travel patterns, help forecast demand for different travel modes, and would give
more data on active transport. It was also noted that the information would likely be more
accurate, as the weather on census day would not affect the data. This would make it
more comparable over time.

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2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from engagement and consultation

A couple of organisations were strongly against changing to usual travel as it would be
less comparable with previous censuses and the Australian census. In contrast to the
other submitters, they said census day travel gives a more complete picture of actual
travel demand on any given work day.

There was strong interest in collecting information on multiple modes of transport for one
journey, rather than collecting the main means only. People explained that it is becoming
increasingly difficult to get to places using only one mode of transport, particularly in
Auckland and Wellington. Having this information would support work in Auckland about
integrating routes and ticketing. The key reasons for wanting this information were to
provide a richer understanding of how people travel, information on the integration of
different travel modes, which would help with planning transport, and on infrastructure
needs in certain geographic locations. They also thought it would provide useful
information about the active-mode components of transport, as currently this data is
invisible.

Travel to education and education institutional address – 24
submissions, 33 comments online
We recommended adding ‘travel to education’ to the transport topic. Similar to travel to
work, this would include collecting people’s mode of transport and their education
institution address. We wanted feedback from customers about what levels of education
the census should collect information on, and whether census day travel or usual travel
should be collected.

There was strong support for the proposed recommendation from the online discussion
forum, submissions, and the face-to-face workshops. People stated this information
would help fill a large gap in current data, provide more-complete data on traffic flows,
and improve the understanding of transport patterns and demand in different areas of
New Zealand. They also explained it would help traffic management, public transport
planning, and monitoring of investment in certain modes of transport.

People expressed a range of views about what level of education we should collect.
Approximately half of the feedback we received stated that we should collect information
on all levels of education, pre-school up to tertiary, as they thought this would give a more
complete picture of how people of all ages access education. Others, particularly
workshop participants, thought just collecting primary, secondary, and tertiary data would
be sufficient, as traffic to early childhood education may not contribute largely to peak
hour traffic.

As indicated in the feedback about travel to work, submitters preferred data on usual
travel. There was also interest in collecting information on multi-modal travel, for the
same reasons discussed above.

Number of motor vehicles – 13 submissions, 45 comments online
We recommended that this topic be included, but requested feedback about whether any
changes are needed – particularly whether the top category of three needs to be raised.

Most of the feedback came from the online discussion. Commenters stated that this
information is still important for urban planning, particularly in regards to parking, for
public transport planning, and for understanding potential barriers to increasing public
transport use in particular areas. Some online commenters questioned the continued
importance of collecting number of motor vehicles. They thought almost everyone can
access a car if need be and foresaw issues for those in shared flats who have completely
separate assets.

Most people supported raising the top category as this would provide a greater
understanding of the number of cars per household. They stated that young people are

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2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from engagement and consultation

living at home for longer these days, therefore increasing the number of cars per
household. This was highlighted both online and through submissions.

The main change suggested in the online discussion was to collect information on other
forms of transport – bicycles in particular. They explained that the use of bicycles is
increasing and it would be useful for transport planners and government for allocating
budget and for zoning issues.

Health
Cigarette smoking behaviour – 44 submissions, 69 comments
online
As has been the case in the last two census cycles, there was a great deal of interest in
this topic – online, in the submissions, and in the face-to-face workshops. Because
cigarette smoking has been historically considered as a cyclic topic (originally to be
included only in every second census) our recommendation was that more information
was required to recommend inclusion.

The same issues and themes were evident in the online discussion and the submissions
we received. There was very strong support for inclusion for several different reasons, the
main ones being that 2018 is the benchmark year for the government’s Smokefree 2025
goal and this information is crucial for monitoring progress since the last census. People
emphasised that the level of detail the census can provide was invaluable – both in terms
of geography and the characteristics of cigarette smokers.

The New Zealand Health Survey, run by the Ministry of Health, was discussed. However,
all commenters and submitters agreed that this does not provide them the level of detail
they require.

There were suggestions to collect information on e-cigarettes, as their use is increasing
and it would be helpful to know the number of people now using them and how their use
relates to tobacco smoking.

The additional information smoking data from the census can give about health in general
was also highlighted. Commenters and submitters explained that they consider this
information to be an important general health indicator. It is increasingly used as a flag for
those population groups who are disproportionately represented across negative well-
being and deprivation indicators.

Disability – 23 submissions, 32 comments online
The proposed recommendation was that including disability in the 2018 Census depends
on whether the post-censal disability survey goes ahead. At present, we will not run the
disability survey in 2018. Te Kupenga will be run instead, as funding is available for only
one post-censal survey. The Disability Data and Evidence Working Group are exploring
new ideas and new ways of meeting information needs about disability. It will make
recommendations concerning priority information needs for disability data and how best
to meet these. As part of the work of this group, Statistics NZ is trialling the inclusion of
the Washington Group questions in our household surveys. We will consider the outcome
of these trials as part of our final decisions on census content.

Two main themes came through strongly from the online discussion, the submissions,
and the face-to-face workshops: the future of the disability survey, and the possibility of
outputting census data. People were concerned about the discontinuation of the disability
survey. There was strong support for running the disability survey, as people explained
that understanding disability, particularly in an ageing population, is important.
Commenters and submitters acknowledged the limitations of using the census to select

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