The 2018 New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings will take place on Tuesday 6 March 2018. The census is the official count of how many people and dwellings there are in New Zealand.
Information from the census helps determine how billions of dollars of government funding is spent in the community. It is used to help make decisions about which services are needed and where they should be, such as hospitals, kōhanga reo, schools, roads, public transport, and recreational facilities. Census information is used by councils, community groups, iwi, and businesses to plan for the future.
We're preparing for the next census in 2018.
We are testing our systems and processes to ensure they will be ready to accurately count every household and dwelling in New Zealand.
We will run a final test in April 2017, bringing together all of our new processes and systems to check that they're working before the 2018 Census.
In 2016 we ran tests in March and July.
See Test programme
2018 Census strategy
2018 Census strategy sets out the strategic direction for the 2018 New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings. The strategy will focus our efforts, and guide our work programme and outputs for the 2018 Census in order to meet the needs of our customers.
Consultation on 2018 Census content
2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from engagement and consultation (published December 2015)
This report summarises the feedback we received about the Preliminary view of 2018 Census content.
Discussion forum closed
The discussion forum about 2018 Census content is now closed although discussions can still be viewed.
View the 2018 Census discussion forum
2018 Census preliminary view of content
Preliminary view of 2018 Census content explains our initial thinking about content for 2018 Census. We published the preliminary view in preparation for public submissions on 2018 Census content. We accepted submissions from 18 May until 3 July 2015.
Review of 2018 Census content
The census needs to reflect real-world change and maintain relevance. We are therefore undertaking a comprehensive review of content to ensure the 2018 Census reflects the information needs of our customers.
Our review to date has included looking at how previous questions performed, doing a stocktake of what the data is used for and who uses it, and considering international trends. We are also consulting widely with our customers, stakeholders, and the New Zealand public.
While there is scope for change, we need to find the right balance between making changes to better reflect information needs in New Zealand today and being able compare data over time. We will also need to consider factors such as the length and complexity of the questionnaire.
We have sought feedback from customers about content for the 2018 Census (see Consultation on 2018 Census content above). Following this consultation, we published 2018 Census content: Summary of feedback from engagement and consultation. We will publish the 2018 Census final content report in 2017.
Modernising the census
We are modernising the census for 2018. A key feature is encouraging self-response using online forms. Completing the census form online will be secure, quick, and easy. Most people will be able to complete their forms without a visit from a field officer, although paper forms will still be available for those who prefer them.
Updated 10 February 2017