NZ Census Update: September 2019 for the first release

NZ Census Update: September 2019 for the first release

Following yesterday’s announcement from Stats NZ, Penny Bloomberg updates us on the latest plan for releasing data from the 2018 New Zealand Census.

Late September is slated as the date for the first release of Census 2018 usual resident population figures, in time for electorate boundary setting process required in preparation for the 2020 General Election and District Health Board funding planning.

Data reliability has been the chief concern for Stats NZ, with Head Statistician Liz McPherson confirming “We’ve now created a census dataset that meets Stats NZ’s quality criteria for population structure information…”

Using “real data about real people”, other government datasets have been employed to make up 11 per cent of the dataset, with the balance 89% sourced from the 2018 Census.

However, this ‘administrative data’ is not available for all census topics. It is already known that there will be no release of official statistical iwi counts, and Stats NZ warn that other datasets may not be released because of the volume of missing data and gaps in alternative sources.

If you work in local government, you may wish to keep a copy of our free reference guide for the 2018 Census on hand as these Census topics roll out. You download a copy of Worth the wait – a simple guide to navigating the 2018 Census here.

When will topics from the 2018 Census be released?

Moving into 2020, expect the census topics to be worked through on a case-by-case basis.

September’s release will include;

  • Census night counts (enumerated population)
  • Census usual-resident population counts
  • Dwelling counts
  • The number of general and Māori electorates
  • General and Māori electoral population counts

Read the full release calendar from Stats NZ website here.

Future data releases from Stats NZ

Early May 2019: Nationwide technical seminars

July 2019: Release of the independent review of the 2018 Census

23 September 2019: First release of 2018 Census data as above

23 September 2019: The External Data Quality Panel – Methodology and data quality report

December 2019:  2023 Census business case released

By March 2020: Release of the 2018 Census Post-Enumeration Survey report, the 2018-base estimated resident population figures, and updated population estimates for the June – December 2019.

It is expected that all 2018 census data will be released by mid-2020.

We’ll continue to keep everyone updated about the Census data and what it means for our partners in local government. Subscribe to our blog to have the latest delivered straight to your inbox.

For more information about this release, see

Your guide to the 2018 New Zealand Census

A reminder, you can get your copy of Worth the wait – a simple guide to navigating the 2018 Census, here.

Penny - Population expert

Based in New Zealand, Penny primarily looks after our Kiwi clients but also lends her expertise to the Australian context. Penny has extensive experience as a Communication Manager in Local Government and has a degree in Business and Communications. She also brings a breadth of generalist management experience in fields as varied as research, civil defence, project and event management, marketing and training. Penny’s knowledge combined with the .id tools help clients work with their communities to empower grass roots decision-making, advocacy and grant applications, and focus on strengthening council-community relationships. Penny has a rural property and enjoys growing and eating food and wine, which she runs, walks, bikes or swims off, when she’s not in the art studio.

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