Statistics New Zealand operates under the authority of the Statistics Act 1975
The Act is in five parts:
- 'Official Statistics' covers all statistical surveys undertaken by government departments (including Statistics New Zealand).
- 'Statistics New Zealand and Government Statistician' creates the department known as Statistics New Zealand and the office of Government Statistician, defines the duties of the Government Statistician, and authorises the appointment of employees.
- 'Census of Population and Dwellings' sets out the statutory provisions relating to the five-yearly census.
- 'Collection of Statistics by the Department' sets out the provisions relating to the collection, furnishing, security, and disclosure of information collected under the Act.
- 'Offences and Penalties' defines offences for omission, obstruction, impersonation, neglect or refusal to supply particulars, false statements, mutilation of schedules and other actions, and sets out the penalties for them.
You can view the full text of the Statistics Act 1975 on the Legislation New Zealand website, in public libraries, or you can purchase it from bookstores.
The following sections contain the main provisions of the Act
Click on the linked section numbers to see the full text of each section on the New Zealand Legislation website.
3(1): Official statistics shall be collected to provide information required by the Executive Government of New Zealand, Government Departments, local authorities, and businesses for the purpose of making policy decisions, and to facilitate the appreciation of economic social, demographic, and other matters of interest to the said Government, Government Departments, local authorities, businesses, and to the general public.
4: Information may be required of any person in a position to provide it to enable the production of official statistics of any or all of the kinds specified.
6(1): Minister of Statistics to approve all statistical surveys undertaken by government departments.
15(1): Independence of the Government Statistician in respect of deciding (a) the procedures and methods employed in the provision of statistics produced by the Statistician, and (b) the extent, form, and timing of publication of those statistics.
23(1): Census of Population and Dwellings to be taken in 2013 and in every fifth year thereafter.
31: Onus on recipient to complete schedules delivered.
32: Furnishing of information required.
37: Security of information provided.
37(1): Information furnished under the Act to be used only for statistical purposes....
37(2): Only employees of the department may view individual schedules ....
37(3): No information from an individual schedule is to be separately published or disclosed, except as authorised by the Statistics Act (the Act permits others to see information from an individual schedule, but only when it is in a form that prevents identification of the respondent concerned, and then only under strict security conditions).
37(4): All statistical information published is to be arranged in such a manner as to prevent any particulars published from being identifiable by any person as particulars relating to any particular person or undertaking....