Should there be a Pākehā option on the census?

Should there be a Pākehā option on the census?
Photo credit: Newshub.

Campaigners are calling for a Pākehā option to be included in the ethnicity category in the New Zealand Census.

Peter Hosking from Call Me Pākehā Please says: "when it comes to ethnicity, lots of New Zealanders think of themselves as Pākehā, rather than 'NZ European'".

He's calling for those who identify as Pākehā to check 'other' in the ethnicity question and then write Pākehā in the 2018 census.

He then plans to launch a petition to have Pākehā included as an option for the ethnicity question in the next census.

"Of course if people prefer European they will have that option," he says.

In 1996, 'New Zealand European/ Pākehā' was an option in the census but it was removed and replaced with 'New Zealand European'.

Mr Hosking wants to see the 1996 option re-introduced, or have Pākehā' introduced as its own category.

According to information provided by Statistics New Zealand, the classification 'New Zealand European' is considered to include Pākehā and New Zealander.  

Census forms following 1996 do not include 'New Zealand European/Pākehā' but only 'New Zealand European' because Statistics New Zealand considers the terms to be synonyms.

The organisation reviews its classifications periodically, and the ethnicity measurement was most recently reviewed in 2005.

It found that feedback from customers was to retain the classification in its existing structure.