Nationwide census under way

Hamilton residents can expect one of more than 360 collectors in the Waikato Census area to call before noon on March 5.

Door knocking starts tomorrow as every home will be visited and residents asked to fill in census forms.

Each official collector will be armed with identification, a large blue bag and forms for each dwelling and individual occupants who will be staying at the residence, caravan, sleepout or bach on March 5, Census day.

The forms must be filled in and completed by March 17. It is a legal requirement. Collection of completed forms will start on March 6.

This year's census is the first since 2006. New Zealand usually organises a census every five years. But due to the February 22 Christchurch earthquake in 2011, that year's event was called off two weeks into the campaign.

This year there will be a push to get more people completing their census forms online. Statistics New Zealand is hoping that 35 per cent of the population will use the online facility.

District supervisors Kerry Beach and Rex Bushell say the online option is easier than filling in the detailed forms manually - and will not have to be picked up by collectors.

In the greater Waikato area 89,000 homes with a population of 235,000 will be circulated with census forms.

New Zealand has the highest census participation rate in the world with 98 per cent of people taking part in 2006.

- Hamilton News

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