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Legislation, policies, and protocols

Statistics NZ operates under the authority of the Statistics Act 1975. Our work is guided by legislation and frameworks and we also adhere to policies and protocols.

Legislation and frameworks guiding official statistics

The Statistics Act 1975 sets out the role of the Government Statistician, the concept of Official Statistics, the processes for conducting surveys and the Census, and the rules for keeping information collected safe. Our work and the work of other New Zealand government agencies who produce official statistics is guided by:

Compliance and prosecutions

The department has regulatory powers under the Statistics Act 1975. Under the Act businesses and households have a legal obligation to supply information requested by Statistics NZ and the department has a duty to protect the confidentiality of the information supplied. To reduce non-compliance the department uses a range of compliance approaches including prosecution.

Statistics New Zealand's policies, protocols, and guidelines

The policies and protocols below give general information about the way we operate, and may be useful for other agencies developing similar policies.

Protocols for Official Statistics

In 2005 a set of key official statistics, known as Tier 1 statistics, were identified as performance measures of New Zealand. These statistics are critical for New Zealand and our government's ability to make decisions. Many of our statistics, particularly in the economic area, are produced according to international standards and frameworks, which allows for comparisons between countries.

See more information about official statistics.

Principles and Protocols for Producers of Tier 1 statistics were developed in consultation with Tier 1 producing agencies. These protocols ensure that New Zealand’s official statistics are produced using methodologies and practices that are statistically sound. Although specifically developed for Tier 1 statistics, we encourage the application of these principles to all official statistics. 

More information and a list of current Tier 1 statistics and the agencies that produce them can be found on our Statisphere pages about New Zealand's official statistics.

Page updated 9 May 2017

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