Census 2018 limitations disproportionately affect Māori

census 2018

One in seven people did not complete the 2018 census, the first to be moved mostly online.

Māori are likely to have been disproportionately affected by the new process but they have had no say in its design or implementation says Te Mana Raraunga, (TMR) the Māori Data Sovereignty Network.

They think the limitations of the Census 2018 have created an unacceptable brake on efforts to advance Māori social, cultural and economic wellbeing.

TMR says official statistics are fundamental for informing Māori and Crown actions to improve Māori wellbeing and realise Māori rights.

The delay in the release of data until September 2019 is also a major concern for TMR because timeliness is a key factor in the usefulness of such data to inform decisions.

After it became apparent that the census enumeration was incomplete, the dataset was augmented by drawing extensively on other government data.

Stats NZ notes that 11 percent of the total number of records in the dataset it created for Census 2018 have come from other government data.

TMR is urging Stats NZ to reveal what percentage of Māori ethnicity and Māori descent records in the census dataset have been sourced from outside the census.

Māori descent data are used to calculate the number of electorates and revise electoral boundaries.

Government Statistician Liz MacPherson said on Monday that the data was good enough to provide information for setting boundaries of both general and Māori electorates.

“By combining the census forms with the admin data, we’ve been able to come up with a Māori descent population which is more comprehensive than the 2013 census. And it’s Māori descent that’s used for electoral boundaries.”

However, TMR says the Census 2013 had the lowest Māori coverage of any recent Census.

Data relating to iwi affiliation will not be available for the 2018 Census.

A lack of iwi affiliation data could have an impact on Treaty settlements.


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News category: New Zealand.

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