Nearly three million Kiwis had filled in their Census onliine by midnight last night.

"This is a great result so far, and we're delighted that so many people have done this," 2018 Census general manager Denise McGregor said.

"We aimed for 60 per cent of those in New Zealand to complete it by midnight and we are very happy to have achieved this," McGregor said.

"It doesn't take long to complete. People are taking an average of four minutes for the dwelling form and eight minutes for the individual form," she said.


McGregor is confident that the results from the online responses will give the best possible data.

"There has been a huge effort and we thank staff and especially the field staff and community volunteers around the country," she said.

Stats NZ has a target of 70 per cent of all census forms being completed online by the end of the Census collection period. People can still ask for a paper form by phoning 0800 236 787.

Field teams will now start following up with households to help them complete their forms, and reminders would be sent, McGregor said.

In some parts of New Zealand, such as the Far North, Great Barrier Island, the Ureweras, and Whanganui, teams are delivering access codes and paper forms to make sure people in remote parts of New Zealand have everything they need to complete the Census over the next few days.

Stats NZ's online system remains open for several weeks.