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Foreword by the Minister of Statistics

When I was appointed Minister of Statistics, in November 2007, I welcomed the opportunity to work with a nationally and internationally respected organisation. Statistics New Zealand is a world leader in developing and improving the way statistics are collected and given back to the community.

Statistics New Zealand provides a wealth of information about New Zealand: who we are, where we live and what we do. This includes statistics on the gross domestic product of New Zealand, small area population estimates and digital boundaries, as well as regional and local statistics. The information collected and released by Statistics New Zealand provides a sound basis for informed decision making regarding New Zealand’s society, economy and environment.

The importance of quality, timely and relevant statistics cannot be overstated. Robust statistics are a core component of good governance; they help governments to identify the best course of action in addressing complex problems, are essential in the effective delivery of basic services, and are an indispensable, core requirement for accountability and transparency. Working across government departments, the ongoing development of the Official Statistics System continues to be an effective and powerful way to bring together all government statistics to form a cohesive and quality set of official statistics for New Zealand.

The quality of official statistics depends on the cooperation of businesses, communities and citizens in providing appropriate and reliable data. I would like to acknowledge the valuable contribution and goodwill of these groups in providing information. This information allows us to measure our progress as a nation, identify areas for improvement and determine our progress towards the Government’s goals of economic transformation, families – young and old, and national identity.

My priorities for Statistics New Zealand in 2008/09 are:

  • Ensuring trust and confidence in the Official Statistics System and the statistics it produces, minimising the load placed on respondents and acknowledging the value of the information they provide. I encourage Statistics New Zealand to continue with its three major data collection initiatives, survey load reduction, supporting the introduction of Standard Business Reporting across Government, and lifting performance and capability through the successful adoption of international best practice collection methods and systems.
  • Facilitating access to information by continuing with the already very successful Making More Information Freely Available initiative. I encourage Statistics New Zealand to continue providing value back to the businesses, households and individuals who supply information through initiatives such as the Go Stats! information sessions and microdata services, as well as drawing attention to the statistical products which may be of use to them.

In 2008/09 I look forward to working with all participants of the Official Statistics System, including the Advisory Committee on Official Statistics.

I endorse the strategic direction outlined in this Statement of Intent as being aligned with the Government’s overall priorities and confirm that the information it contains is consistent with the Government’s policies and performance expectations.

Hon Darren Hughes
Minister of Statistics

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