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Dozens to be prosecuted for not completing Census

Published: 2:26PM Thursday October 24, 2013 Source: ONE News

  • Census form (Source: ONE News)
    Census form - Source: ONE News

One hundred people are to be prosecuted for not completing their Census forms, Statistics New Zealand says.

On Census night, everyone in New Zealand is legally required to complete their form or have it completed for them.

Since the last survey was held in March this year, Statistics NZ has identified several hundred people who have not completed or returned their forms.

The General Manager of this year's Census, Sarah Minson, said the Government statistician wrote to 450 people in July, telling them they needed to complete their forms or they could face prosecution.

Following this warning, 100 prosecution cases have been identified, Ms Minson said.

When deciding whether or not to prosecute, Statistics NZ takes into consideration the type of offence, the personal circumstances of the person, and the likelihood of success.

Ms Minson said that even though it has been over seven months since Census night, Statistics NZ will continue to accept completed forms throughout the prosecution process.

In 2006, after the last Census, Statistics NZ prosecuted 72 people, resulting in 41 convictions.

Ms Minson emphasised that the information gathered from the survey was incredibly useful in aiding decision making.

"The quality of the information available from our surveys depends on people taking part and providing accurate information," she said.