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Friday 17 February 2023 3:07pm

Census 2023 Image
Census Day is Tuesday, 7 March - participate and be counted!

It is time to be seen Otago!

Census day is on 7 March, and there are many good reasons for students to take part.

The census is a nationwide survey that provides an official count of people and dwellings in Aotearoa New Zealand. It gives a snapshot of life, people, and communities every five years.

Census is our chance to represent ourselves, our families, whānau, communities, and cultures.

It gives us the power to create change that benefits all of us, in our lives, towns, schools, hospitals, and streets.

How will doing the census help me?

By taking part in the census, you help create a better understanding of your community and what it needs. By knowing these needs, government agencies, councils, iwi, community groups and businesses can plan how to respond to them, using census information to make decisions that affect you, your whānau, and your community.

One of the many ways the census data could help our communities in Dunedin is more accurate funding decisions for facilities across the University and the city, and for services like public transport, libraries, and parks.

“Census data will be crucial in the development of our new hospital”, says Isla Thomas, Team Leader – 2023 Census – Dunedin Central. “High census participation means more data to support successful funding applications and therefore better facilities in our medical centres.”

For the first time, the census will ask questions about gender, sexual identity, and variation of sex characteristics (generally known as intersex). This will help Rainbow communities feel seen and heard and will help Rainbow support services reach the right people.

The census will also ask about housing and the quality of your dwelling.

“If we have robust data that indicates a significant percentage of student flats have mould or are under-insulated, it becomes a lot more possible to make systemic changes that address the health of homes in Dunedin” says Isla.

For our Māori, Pacific and international tauira, census data supports the set-up and funding of services and facilities designed to help them reach their potential while staying connected to their communities, heritage, and culture.

Doing the 2023 census

Every person who is in the country on the night of Tuesday, 7 March 2023 must complete the census.

You can do the census online or on paper. All you need is an access code, which you will receive in a letter, before census day. Each household will receive one access code – everyone living at your address will use that access code to complete their census form. If you get paper forms with your letter, you can still choose to do the census online. Keep an eye out for the letter – in the mail via NZ Post or hand delivered by Census staff. If you do not get paper forms but would like them, you can call 0800 CENSUS (0800 236 787) and request them to be sent to you.

Census 2023 letter Image
Look out for the census letter - it contains your code to complete the census form.

But you don’t have to wait until you receive your letter or until Census Day to complete your census. You can do it right now by visiting, pressing the ‘start your census’ button and requesting an access code to be sent to you by text.

If you have questions about the Census or require assistance completing the form, call the Census helpline on 0800 CENSUS. You can also call the helpline and request an internet access code be texted to you. If you require in-person assistance, visit the Dunedin Public Library where there will be someone to help you.

You do not have to wait until census day to fill out your forms. You can do it as soon as you have an access code. If you do the census early, your answers should still be about where you are staying on the night of 7 March.

Privacy and confidentiality

Once submitted, your information is stored on a secure data storage server certified for use by the New Zealand Government.

Published census data is always about groups and communities, never individuals. All identifying information, such as names and addresses, is removed before anyone can use the data.

Got questions?

Check out the Census 2023 website or meet the census team at Tent City during O-week.

- Kōrero by Sandra French, Internal Communications Adviser

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