Note to readers: the information that follows is provided by Stats NZ. Blind Citizens NZ is pleased to acknowledge we have been actively involved offering information and advice to Stats NZ since the 2018 Census…

We are pleased to report that over 4 million people have now completed and returned their Census Individual Form. Most people are completing the Census online (83 percent), while 17 percent of the returns have been on a paper form.

We have had positive feedback about the performance and accessibility of the online Census form and the range of formats that have been made available to help disabled people take part.

There is still time to complete the Census

We are currently working on updating the information we have available in alternate formats to let disabled people know what to do now that Census Day has passed.

Census Day was Tuesday 7 March 2023 but you can still complete the census after this date. When people complete their census forms, they just fill them out for where they were on 7 March. 

Census collectors are visiting households to follow up with people who have not yet completed their census forms and to offer support. Collectors will be in the field until 3 May in most areas, and 1 June in cyclone-affected areas.

People do not need to wait for a census collector to visit. They can complete the census online using any access code provided to their household, or by requesting a new access code through the website

Alternatively, people can call 0800 CENSUS (0800 236 787) for help or to request information in Audio, Braille, Large Print or Easy Read. The Census Helpline is open from 8am to 5pm, 7 days a week until 30 June. 

NZSL videos with captions in English can be viewed online here:

Reminder letters

A second reminder letter will be mailed to some households this week. Some people may have already completed their census forms by the time the letter arrives. If they have already done the census, they do not need to do anything else and can ignore the letter.

Cyclone affected areas

For people in areas impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle, there will be more time and support to do the census. We are working together with iwi leaders and community groups to help people to take part in the census when they are ready.

This means:

  • communities will be involved in planning the census approach in their area;
  • there will be more community locations and events that people can go to for help;
  • people will have guidance on how to fill out their census forms if they have had to leave their homes;
  • census collectors will be in affected areas offering help until 1 June 2023;
  • we will revise the prosecution process for people affected by Cyclone Gabrielle who have been unable to complete the census. 

Feedback received from disabled people

Some people have told us they are worried about being prosecuted or fined for not doing their Census by 7 March. 

Fines are sometimes given to people who do not fill in their census, because it is a legal requirement. But this is the last thing we want to do. We want everyone to be counted in the 2023 Census and are working hard to provide the support and assurance that they need. 

We have noted some general feedback from disabled people about the confusing language used in the Census. Concerns that neurodiversity is not represented have also been raised. These concerns have been shared with the relevant teams at Stats NZ. 

Thank you

Thank you all for your continued support for the 2023 Census. We would like to acknowledge the support received from Disabled People’s Organisations, particularly Deaf Aotearoa, Blind Citizens NZ, and People First who have contributed to the development of our accessibility approach.