Delivering papers for big count

By Sonya Bateson

More than 300 people have strapped on their blue bags, adjusted their yellow name tags and begun knocking on doors to deliver census papers.

The official census period began on Saturday as 396 people in the Tauranga and Coromandel areas hit the streets to deliver papers to 98,955 dwellings.

Tauranga and Coromandel census area manager Royston Scholes said delivering and collecting the census, which will record the information of 191,926 people in the area, was a huge logistical exercise and involved delivering the forms to isolated houses in the bush, to people on boats and places such as hospitals, hotels and motels.

"In Coromandel, especially, there are some very remote settlements which are only accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles."

Since Saturday, Mr Scholes and his team had delivered 22,090 dwelling forms and 56,932 individual forms.

"We've had a fantastic start to the project. We're also encouraging people to do their forms online, it's secure, quick and easy, and it saves a lot of time for both the people filling them out and the collectors.

we're expecting 35 to 50 per cent of people will do their forms online."

So far, Mr Scholes said the feedback from collectors had been mostly positive.

"We have had the occasional refusal and five incidents with dogs. So far there's been no incidents of abuse. The district supervisors were trained in the whole process of delivering the forms and keeping themselves safe.

"We've had good support from the public, most people are aware of the need for a census, it's extremely important especially as we couldn't collect in 2011 because of the Christchurch earthquake."

The information collected would help the Government determine where public funding was to be spent, he said.

Otumoetai and Matua district supervisor Kim Bailey (pictured) said she enjoyed delivering census forms as she got to meet lots of different people and see different parts of her community.


- Bay of Plenty Times

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