Tour makes statistics simple

Statistics New Zealand's 2013 Census Regional Tour came to Waimate on Wednesday.

Members from several community groups attended the seminar at the Waimate Community Centre, along with a group from Waimate High School and interested members of the public.

Representatives from the Government department, which conducts the Census, talked about several aspects of the five yearly event. Census is the official count of how many people and dwellings there are in the country.

Topics presented were the history of the Census, confidentiality, and data use at national and local level.

Statistics New Zealand statistical analyst Julie Hammersley says the aim of the tour is to help simplify what can be a confusing subject.

"It demystifies what Statistics New Zealand is all about. People can think 'oh God, the government wants information'. We want people to know that the information is used for planning the future, and thank them for filling out the forms.

"We're trying to give feedback to the community on the information they provided to us last year. It's important people know what happens with the data they give us."

Feedback from people who attended the seminar will be passed on to Statistics New Zealand.

Waimate district councillor Sharyn Cain attended the seminar and says with an increase in Waimate's Maori and overseas-born population, Census information could be helpful when it came to utilising council's resources.

Those in attendance were also shown the Quickstats section on the Statistics New Zealand website, which provides a variety of information on specific locations in easy to understand forms such as bullet points and basic tables.

According to Quickstats, as of Census day there were 2778 people living in Waimate, with 7536 residing in the district as a whole.

There were 3234 occupied and 474 unoccupied dwellings in the district.

The district's median age was 46, compared with 38 years nationally.

The 2011 Census was postponed due to the Christchurch earthquake in February that year.

The Timaru Herald