To the government statistician, from the non-Wizard of Okaihau. Non-, because unlike the late Wizard of Christchurch, I DO want to be counted.

You will never know the number of homes with neither postal service nor internet, because your census excludes them. Professor Heller did well setting up your 0800 system that demands the undelivered passcode, and then none of the advertisements for that number appeared in the Northland Age.

Perhaps you delegated this year's census to a millennial, who has never known the pleasure of writing on paper.

Read more: Editorial: Census may well be a shambles
Help still available for Northlanders struggling to fill out Census online


Was it penury, or an attack from the privacy warriors, that dissuaded you from employing the usual army of sub-enumerators? Those worthy foot soldiers performed your first order count. They counted the dwellings, occupied or not, and how many at each street address.

The number of personal forms delivered at each address was a quick head count.

Don't worry about the waste of paper, there's more discarded packaging each day than in a five-yearly census. Although you could save paper and please the IRD by reverting to the system of the Roman Empire: make everyone return to their place of birth to be counted, and pay their tax.

Better still, employ the Jehovah's Witnesses to deliver the forms. They know where I live.