Teuila Fuatai

Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

100 people to be prosecuted for failing to fill census forms

In all, the Census has collected 5.6 million individual and dwelling forms. Photo /  Ben Fraser
In all, the Census has collected 5.6 million individual and dwelling forms. Photo / Ben Fraser

About 100 people will be prosecuted for not completing their census forms this year, Statistics New Zealand has announced.

The government agency, which in recent weeks published population counts and electoral population numbers from the 2013 survey, have urged those with outstanding forms to send them in.

"While it has been over seven months since census night, we will continue to accept completed forms throughout the prosecutions process,'' general manager 2013 Census Sarah Minson said.

"The information coming out of census and all Statistics NZ surveys is used to make decisions that affect our future. The quality of the information available from our surveys depends on people taking part and providing accurate information,'' she said.

Everyone in New Zealand was legally required to complete their form or have it completed for them on census night in March, she said.

Since then, Statistics New Zealand has taken several steps to encourage anyone with outstanding forms to complete them.

In July, the agency wrote to 450 people asking them to complete their census forms or face prosecution.

Following this, about 100 prosecution cases were identified.

The type of offence, an individual's personal circumstances and the likelihood of success was considered before a prosecution was launched, Statistics New Zealand said.

After the 2006 Census, 72 people were prosecuted resulting in 41 convictions.

- APNZ

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