All children count!

Census Day is coming on up Tuesday 6 March and what better time to reflect on the things that make us who we are? 

Published on
19 Feb 2018
Census story full

A bigger picture of our country

A census is held every five years and everyone in New Zealand needs to participate. It asks us questions about where we live, and about things like our ethnicity or culture, or our birthplace. Information gathered from the census provides us with a picture of our society and our people.

At the time of the last census, for example, around six in ten families included children. Nearly 10,000 grandparents were in a parental role, more extended families were living together, and a quarter of te reo Māori speakers were children.

Information like this is used in many different ways to benefit communities. Homes and families come in many different shapes and sizes, but this doesn’t change the fact that all tamariki are part of a whānau and a community. All children count!

What to do with your forms

Here’s some guidance around how you can help the tamariki and rangatahi in your life be counted on Census Day:

Everyone in a household needs to fill out an individual Census form. Parents or caregivers can fill out individual forms on behalf of tamariki, or if they’re able to they can fill out their own.

  • some children or young people might need a little assistance to fill out their forms - be that helping hand if you know it’s needed! Just remember to give some privacy, because honest answers are important. 
  • tamariki in care, even temporary, should be recorded by their caregiver/s as living in the home. Tamariki and rangatahi in residences will be counted, too. 
  • everyone has a story. Each and every child and young person in New Zealand has their own identity and it’s important they know their story. If you’re connected to any kids who might benefit from talking about their whakapapa, help them have that conversation. 
  • forms will be online this year; watch out for your access code in the mail this month! People who prefer paper forms can request them. Questions can be answered in English or Māori. Households won’t be visited if they have submitted forms before or on 6 March.


Need a hand?

Here are some helpful Census resources from Stats NZ:

View the Census support guide

View the Step-by-step visual guide

View the access code example

For more info go to