Tuesday, March 7, 2006
Tonight is Census night in New Zealand, when all people in the country are legally required to fill in Census forms. The census of population and dwellings is conducted by the New Zealand government department Statistics New Zealand, which (with two exceptions) has done so every five years since 1881. This year is the first time that New Zealanders can choose whether to fill in the traditional paper forms or fill them out online.
6500 Census collectors were employed this year to deliver the forms and collect them over the days following the Census, along with 400 supervisors.
As in previous years, some people have tried to evade the Census. Libertarianz party members and others gathered at the Wellington Botanical Gardens to incinerate their forms. Another man announced he had been cryogenically frozen overnight and pronounced "legally dead" to avoid filling in the forms.
Data collections manager Dave Martyn said legal action would be taken against people deliberately not taking part in the Census.
"The fine is usually $500 per form plus court costs. If the person still doesn't fill out the form, the ongoing cost is $20 a day until they do."
Preliminary Census results are scheduled to be released in May 2006.
== Sources ==
Hannah Lawrence. "Man "freezes himself" to avoid Census" — New Zealand Herald, March 8, 2006
== External links ==
New Zealand 2006 Census website