As it happened: Statistics Minister James Shaw responds to review of botched census

  • 13/08/2019

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Statistics Minister James Shaw is holding a press conference at the Beehive in Wellington to respond to a damning review of the 2018 Census. 

Stats NZ's 2018 Annual Report noted that full or partial responses had been collected for 90 percent of the estimated population, compared with 94.5 percent in 2013. 

The census had a new digital-focus, but it was revealed in June last year that participation was lower than previous years, sparking an inquiry in October into what went wrong. 

The review, made public on Tuesday, has highlighted how the 2018 Census "represented a significant change from its predecessor in 2013" and "unanticipated challenges resulted in a less than optimal outcome". 

Shaw, also co-leader of the Green Party, issued a statement on Tuesday, thanking Stats NZ chief executive Liz MacPherson, shortly after she resigned over the review. 

"I understand that, as the Government Statistician, Liz feels the buck stops with her with regards to problems identified around the low response rate," Shaw said. 

The minister is now taking questions from the media about the independent review, which outlined weaknesses in "overall governance and strategic leadership". 


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