Help available to fill out Census forms online

By Mike Dinsdale

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Northlanders wanting to fill out their Census forms online are being offered a bit of help to do so on the big day.

The 2013 Census takes place on March 5 and this year Statistics NZ hopes more people will fill their Census forms out online than the 2006 Census.

A campaign to encourage communities to do so - called "Come to your Census" - has been launched by the 2020 Communications Trust.

Trust spokeswoman Laurence Zwimpfer said the aim of the campaign is to enable people who have participated in the trust's Computers in Homes and Stepping UP programmes to use their digital skills to complete their Census online.

However, anybody can take advantage of the free help.

People with an internet connection at home can complete their Census forms after they receive their documents, which are being hand-delivered by 7000 collectors throughout New Zealand. Those who do not feel confident completing their forms online at home are invited to go to a community access site on Census day where volunteers will help them connect to the Census site (www.census.govt.nz).

Two hundred venues have been set up across the country, including 10 in Northland - Whangarei Central Library; Kamo Library; Onerahi Library; Tikipunga Library; Dargaville Public Library; Kerikeri Procter Library; Kawakawa Library and Service Centre; Literacy Whangarei; Whangarei Citizens' Advice Bureau and Wellsford Citizen's Advice Bureau.

Northland's Computers in Homes regional co-ordinator Sue Kini has been working to create local community access sites.

"Our local libraries and community centres have been fantastic with coming on board. They understand that not everyone has internet access at home and how important the Census is for New Zealand's future financial planning," Mrs Kini said.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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