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Country Profile of New Zealand

Main statistical agency
Main statistical agency name
Statistics New Zealand
Web address
www.stats.govt.nz
Position in the government
Statistics New Zealand reports to the Minister of Statistics in the New Zealand Government.
Organizational structure and finance
Statistics New Zealand is structured into seven organisational groups:
Collections and Dissemination
Industry and Labour Statistics
Macro-Economic and Environment Statistics
Organisation Development
Organisation Direction
Social and Population Statistics
Standards and Methods
Multi-annual or annual work program
An annual Output Plan is agreed between the Minister of Statistics and the chief executive of Statistics New Zealand for each new financial year. It specifies the statistical outputs that are to be produced, along with their performance standards covering frequency, timeliness, quantity and quality.
Main duties
To meet its responsibilities under this Act, Statistics New Zealand's main roles are to:

1. Provide leadership for New Zealand's official statistics.

2. Be the key contributor to the collection, analysis and dissemination of official statistics relating to New Zealand's economy, environment and society.

3. Build and maintain trust in official statistics.

4. Ensure that official statistics are of high integrity and quality and are equally available to all.

To give effect to the principles for government action on the Treaty of Waitangi, Statistics New Zealand will work to ensure Mäori statistical needs can be identified and progressively met.


Brief history and other relevant background information
Brief history and other relevant background information
Archives Act 1957 Provides for the custody and preservation of the public archives of New Zealand, and covers some Statistics New Zealand records.
Local Government Act 1974 Defines minimum district populations, and requires territorial authority boundaries to align with Statistics New Zealand meshblock boundaries.
Statistics Act 1975 Statistics New Zealand's enabling legislation. It also covers official statistics produced by other government departments.
Prior to December 1994, Statistics New Zealand was known as the Department of Statistics.
Brief history and other relevant background information
Archives Act 1957 Provides for the custody and preservation of the public archives of New Zealand, and covers some Statistics New Zealand records.
Local Government Act 1974 Defines minimum district populations, and requires territorial authority boundaries to align with Statistics New Zealand meshblock boundaries.
Statistics Act 1975 Statistics New Zealand's enabling legislation. It also covers official statistics produced by other government departments.
Prior to December 1994, Statistics New Zealand was known as the Department of Statistics.
Brief history and other relevant background information
Archives Act 1957 Provides for the custody and preservation of the public archives of New Zealand, and covers some Statistics New Zealand records.
Local Government Act 1974 Defines minimum district populations, and requires territorial authority boundaries to align with Statistics New Zealand meshblock boundaries.
Statistics Act 1975 Statistics New Zealand's enabling legislation. It also covers official statistics produced by other government departments.
Prior to December 1994, Statistics New Zealand was known as the Department of Statistics.
Brief history and other relevant background information
Archives Act 1957 Provides for the custody and preservation of the public archives of New Zealand, and covers some Statistics New Zealand records.
Local Government Act 1974 Defines minimum district populations, and requires territorial authority boundaries to align with Statistics New Zealand meshblock boundaries.
Statistics Act 1975 Statistics New Zealand's enabling legislation. It also covers official statistics produced by other government departments.
Prior to December 1994, Statistics New Zealand was known as the Department of Statistics.
Brief history and other relevant background information
Archives Act 1957 Provides for the custody and preservation of the public archives of New Zealand, and covers some Statistics New Zealand records.
Local Government Act 1974 Defines minimum district populations, and requires territorial authority boundaries to align with Statistics New Zealand meshblock boundaries.
Statistics Act 1975 Statistics New Zealand's enabling legislation. It also covers official statistics produced by other government departments.
Prior to December 1994, Statistics New Zealand was known as the Department of Statistics.
Brief history and other relevant background information
Archives Act 1957 Provides for the custody and preservation of the public archives of New Zealand, and covers some Statistics New Zealand records.
Local Government Act 1974 Defines minimum district populations, and requires territorial authority boundaries to align with Statistics New Zealand meshblock boundaries.
Statistics Act 1975 Statistics New Zealand's enabling legislation. It also covers official statistics produced by other government departments.
Prior to December 1994, Statistics New Zealand was known as the Department of Statistics.
Brief history and other relevant background information
Archives Act 1957 Provides for the custody and preservation of the public archives of New Zealand, and covers some Statistics New Zealand records.
Local Government Act 1974 Defines minimum district populations, and requires territorial authority boundaries to align with Statistics New Zealand meshblock boundaries.
Statistics Act 1975 Statistics New Zealand's enabling legislation. It also covers official statistics produced by other government departments.
Prior to December 1994, Statistics New Zealand was known as the Department of Statistics.
Brief history and other relevant background information
Archives Act 1957 Provides for the custody and preservation of the public archives of New Zealand, and covers some Statistics New Zealand records.
Local Government Act 1974 Defines minimum district populations, and requires territorial authority boundaries to align with Statistics New Zealand meshblock boundaries.
Statistics Act 1975 Statistics New Zealand's enabling legislation. It also covers official statistics produced by other government departments.
Prior to December 1994, Statistics New Zealand was known as the Department of Statistics.


Legal basis
Legal basis
The Statistics Act 1975 covers official statistics in New Zealand, the office and duties of the chief executive of Statistics New Zealand, the five-yearly Census of Population and Dwellings, the collection of statistics by Statistics New Zealand and offences and penalties.


Other producers of official statistics
Other producers of official statistics
The major statistics produced by government agencies other than Statistics New Zealand are those on health, education, welfare, crime and justice.


Statistical advisory bodies
Statistical advisory bodies
Statistics New Zealand is structured into seven organisational groups, each with a number of divisions. The groups are governed by the Statistics New Zealand Board.
The Statistics New Zealand Board consists of the Government Statistician and seven Deputy Government Statisticians. The board replaced the Corporate Management Committee in December 2007.

The board’s role is to provide strengthened leadership, connections and communication for Statistics New Zealand. This is to support Statistics New Zealand’s mission statement, to turn data into relevant knowledge efficiently.



Data collection
Most recent population census
7 March 2006
Access to administrative data
Statistics New Zealand processes administrative data from other government agencies, notably (i) passenger arrival and departure cards, (ii) birth, death and marriage registrations, and marriage dissolutions, (iii) abortions, (iv) building consents, and (v) income tax records. It is also increasingly involved in preparing and analysing integrated datasets from a variety of sources, notably in relation to student loans and for the linking of employer and employee data.

Statistics New Zealand has continued to expand the use of administrative data, particularly tax data, to supplement or substitute for existing direct surveys. Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns to the Inland Revenue Department have been introduced as a component in the redesigned Wholesale Trade Survey, thereby reducing the number of survey respondents by over 600 each quarter (a 36% reduction). In addition, the use of GST returns in the Quarterly Survey of Manufacturing allowed the number of businesses surveyed to be reduced by 450 (a 28% reduction). A similar approach is planned for the re-developed Retail Trade Survey in August 2003. With the re-design it is anticipated that there will be a substantial percentage reduction in businesses surveyed.

Changes proposed for the Annual Business Frame Updating Survey in February 2004 will make use of tax data. As a consequence, 10,000 fewer firms will be surveyed each year. The use of tax data is expected to reduce the number of businesses surveyed for the Monthly Business Frame Update Survey by approximately 2000 per month (a 40% reduction).

Good progress has been made on making use of tax data for new statistical series, notably Injury Statistics and the Linked Employer/Employee Database.
Data confidentiality
The risk of individual data being inadvertently disclosed is very low, due to the application of strict confidentiality routines in the processing of data for publication. However, there is provision in the Statistics Act for disclosure of individual data (without the name or address of the respondent) when such disclosure is sought in questionnaires for surveys conducted jointly by Statistics New Zealand and another government agency, and consent to disclosure is given in writing by the respondents concerned.


Data dissemination
Release calendar (existence, when and how published)
A publishing calendar is maintained on the Statistics New Zealand website. It is updated in six-month blocks on a three-month rolling cycle. It covers all statistical publications.
Main publications
Many, including the New Zealand Official Yearbook.

A policy paper on future directions for making official statistics available to users has recently been finalised. It contains the principles to be followed in disseminating the department's statistics.
Languages of main publications
English, Maori
How are data disseminated (Paper, CD Rom, Website, online databases, databanks)?
Paper, CD-Rom, web.
Availability of microdata for research purposes
Statistics New Zealand has a Data Laboratory in each office that allows staff of other government agencies, and external researchers who are under contract to Statistics New Zealand or those agencies, to access SNZ data on site under strict conditions. The controls around such access ensure that data is kept confidential.




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