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Consumer price surveys (quarterly)

Survey at a glance

Purpose Collect information for Consumers Price Index
Population All businesses that supply goods and services to private households in New Zealand
Sample Approximately 3,300 retail outlets and 2,400 other businesses and landlords
Suitable Accountant, pricing analyst, manager, sales assistant, sales and
Person marketing team, etc.
Results Consumers Price Index

About the surveys

Who is included in these surveys?

The population size includes all businesses that supply goods and services to private households in New Zealand. The sample size includes approximately 3,300 retail outlets and 2,400 other businesses and landlords.

How are businesses selected to be in the surveys?

Retail outlets can be selected in the 15 urban areas surveyed for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). These are Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Napier-Hastings, New Plymouth, Wanganui, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin and Invercargill. The retail outlet selection is reviewed approximately every six years. Between reviews, retail outlets can be added to the sample to replace outlets that have closed or for other reasons.

Other businesses and landlords that supply goods or services to households can be selected throughout the country. Selected businesses are sent postal questionnaires. The selection of businesses is reviewed periodically.

What is this information used for?

The Consumer Price Survey is designed to collect information for the Consumers Price Index (CPI). The Consumers Price Index (CPI) is a measure of price change of goods and services purchased by private New Zealand households. It is often used as a measure of inflation.

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About giving data

How often does these surveys take place?

Retail outlets are visited weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually by price collectors. Price collectors report to staff when visiting stores, then locate specific products and collect prices. The price collectors may request some assistance from retail staff when surveyed products are no longer stocked and guidance is needed on suitable replacement products. Other businesses and landlords are sent postal questionnaires monthly, quarterly or annually. Some information is collected electronically and in other cases administrative collections are used.

If our business is included in one of the surveys, who should complete it?

Accountant, pricing analyst, manager, sales assistant or member of the sales and marketing team.

How is my privacy protected?

Under the Statistics Act 1975, only authorised people can see your individual information and they must use it only for statistical purposes. Your information will be combined with information from other respondents to prepare summary statistics. Statistics New Zealand makes sure that no individual response can be identified when the results are published.

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About your obligations

Why should I provide information to Statistics New Zealand?

Under the Statistics Act 1975 you must provide the information requested by Statistics New Zealand. It is also important that information from all of the businesses surveyed is accurately represented in the statistical results.

Will I be paid for providing information to Statistics New Zealand?

Providing information to Statistics New Zealand is a statutory obligation. There is no provision in the Statistics Act for people to be paid for providing information. Where possible, we request information in a way that is easily obtainable from business records. We also recognise that completing survey questionnaires can be time consuming. For some surveys, we provide survey respondents with information that can be useful for your business planning purposes. Also, survey results are available free of charge on the Statistics New Zealand website.

Will my information be shared with other government agencies?

The Statistics Act 1975 states that:

  • all information collected under the Act must be used only for statistical purposes
  • no information is released by Statistics New Zealand in a form that could enable the person or undertaking to whom it relates to be identified.

Consequently, Statistics New Zealand does not share your information with other government agencies. Other government agencies can provide their information to Statistics New Zealand, but only for statistical purposes. Statistics New Zealand sometimes undertakes a statistical survey jointly with another government department or government agency. In all cases, respondents are informed that it is a joint collection. You may object to information being passed to the other party by writing to Statistics New Zealand. Where this right is exercised, Statistics New Zealand withholds the information from the other party.

Do I have to complete the questionnaire?

Businesses selected for any Statistics New Zealand survey must provide the information requested. This is a legal requirement under the Statistics Act 1975. We appreciate that it can be difficult and time consuming to complete survey forms. If you would prefer to provide information by fax or by email, please phone our Survey Help Desk on 0800 809 464 to discuss these options.

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About using information

Are results from the Consumers Price Surveys available?

Yes, information is used each quarter in the Consumers Price Index (CPI). Use this link to access key results from other Statistics New Zealand surveys.

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