Fill up and be counted

If you are a New Zealand resident or just visiting the country, you and your family should fill up the Census form on March 8, 2011.

The Census office will be taking the head count on that day for every man, woman and child living in New Zealand.

This is a legal obligation.

Census General Manager Carol Slappendel said the Asian community was undercounted in the previous censuses, mainly because many were either unaware of their obligations or did not know how to fill the form.

“Census information is useful in planning public services and utilities including schools, healthcare and roads. Absence of data will be an obstacle for community groups to apply for resources such as training and education, community centres, parks and other facilities,” she said.

Official census collectors will deliver the census forms to every household, or they can be filled online, she said.

Ms Slappendel said all information provided will be treated in strict confidence.

“Asian people play a key role in the society and their voice is valued. There were 354,552 people of Asian origin in New Zealand in 2006 (at the time of the last census) accounting for about 9% of the population. This community is growing, and it is important to know by how much, so that resources can be allocated appropriately,” she said.

People can call toll free Helpline 0800-236787 from 15 February and seek information in Hindi, Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese or visit www.census.govt.nz

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