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  Reply # 1114801 24-Aug-2014 21:27
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nigelj:
Actually, ethnicity is a good one to poll, while the stats on those subjects are often used by politicians, there is interest in them from other fields.  Say health, while uncommon it's not impossible for a medicine to react differently to people of certain ethic descents, an example (that was actually used on MASH) is Primaquine, which can react badly to people of African or Mediterranean descent (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primaquine#Adverse_reactions).  Now lets say something like that happened again and there was a drug or disease in the market/wild that reacted badly to certain ethnicities (due to say genetics), how does the government know where to deploy the most resources?  Ask the Department of Statistics for the most recent census count - okay it might be 4 years out of date, but it might help them realize that say "We don't need to allocate very many resources to Southland for this, because only 1% of the population is [whatever]".

(Just a note on this, I do concede that: The way I recall that the question is asked, is fatally flawed for my example, because say a 2nd generation (living in NZ) person, could identify themselves as NZ European, if say both their parents were of Mediterranean descent and gave birth here, it's a Catch-22 that is likely never able to be solved, but census operations are never 100%, but do still provide the most accurate count/summary of people in NZ to represent them)

Another one is from ethnicity or religion data, a Hospital may decide that because of the large number of [whatever] population/believers that they should add a [insert relevant religious occupation here] or [$language-translator] to their staff/call roster to better cater for the population of the area.

Yes it could be seen as invasive, but I prefer to settle with the belief that there is a good reason/outcome for this, and to be honest, I don't really care if Stats NZ/Govt knows that I'm a NZ European with no religion.


I think you are drawing a fairly long bow with some of that.

The way I understand Stats does Race it isn't based on your preponderance of DNA Anyway. Firstly, it's based on which group you identify with. Secondly, if you are (say) 31/32nds Scottish and only 1/32nd Maori by genetic descent, and you list both, you get classified as Maori by the Stats system. So I doubt they are going to have much luck deciding whether to order a (hypothetical) drug that Scottish people react to and Maori don't. Secondly, as you yourself observe, what people put as their "race" may have no actually connection to a specific ethnicity anyway.

Language translation is a bit or an odd argument. It asks what ethnicity you identify with, not which languages you are fluent in. For instance, I can be fluent in French despite not being French, while many Maori aren't actually fluent in Maori.

And I resent the religion question. That's a private matter, not a matter for the State.

Actually, I somewhat approve of the people who put Jedi in response. From university days, I know that one way of defeating an intrusive survey which you resent is not to comply. Another, especially where non-compliance carries significant risk of inconvenience or penalties, is to give the appearance of compliance but poison the data. If they get (as in a government role I worked in many years ago, where we all got irritated with a very politically correct HR team) a huge percentage of wildly implausible ethnicities then that's pretty much the end of it. [The Europeans, to virtually a man/woman all put Pacific Islander when they made compliance confidential but mandatory, on the basis that NZ is an island in the Pacific and we are NZers. They gave up asking the question after that].

So, if you really object to the Census, one response is just to put nonsense on the form. Roll a dice to pick between options if you need to.

Also just remember that for a supposedly anonymous Census, it isn't any more. Law changes mean that all the forms with your information on them, including your full name and identification etc, are now completely preserved so they can be looked at for all time by "researchers".

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  Reply # 1114878 24-Aug-2014 22:42
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JimmyH:
KiwiNZ:
Geektastic:
KiwiNZ: The prosecutions were probably more about sending a message about the requirement to complete the census. I really don't understand why folks don't do this.


Because we are not all blessed with compliant personalities....


Yet people want hospitals, schools, emergency services, care for elderly etc etc in the correct locations where they are needed most


And why do the need to enquire about my racial background and religious views in order to achieve that.

Plus, I note some first world countries (Germany springs to mind) seem to manage all of this stuff quite well, without intrusive censuses at all.


Of the first world countries that don't have census, many draw from administrative datasets instead (e.g. National health index, IRD, MSD).

NZ is trying to catch up, but there are significant legislative blocks that prevent departments matching up datasets that were collected for different purposes. To produce a viable alternative to the census, StatsNZ will need to be allowed to join up your record from IRD, to that from MSD and health agencies. If they are given this privilege, then perhaps the census could be shortened and pulled back to 10-yearly. More likely is that they will stop doing the more intrusive sample surveys of households and businesses. There are pretty big privacy/security concerns though, imagine the worst case of IRD, MSD and health data being hacked at once. Lots of work to be done behind the scenes, it's not very sexy. 

As a researcher I use the census data almost daily in doing all sorts of things for the benefit of the public, and if it weren't for the census, then a lot more annoying surveys would be needed to achieve the same outcomes



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  Reply # 1114881 24-Aug-2014 22:46
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nickb800:
JimmyH:
KiwiNZ:
Geektastic:
KiwiNZ: The prosecutions were probably more about sending a message about the requirement to complete the census. I really don't understand why folks don't do this.


Because we are not all blessed with compliant personalities....


Yet people want hospitals, schools, emergency services, care for elderly etc etc in the correct locations where they are needed most


And why do the need to enquire about my racial background and religious views in order to achieve that.

Plus, I note some first world countries (Germany springs to mind) seem to manage all of this stuff quite well, without intrusive censuses at all.


Of the first world countries that don't have census, many draw from administrative datasets instead (e.g. National health index, IRD, MSD).

NZ is trying to catch up, but there are significant legislative blocks that prevent departments matching up datasets that were collected for different purposes. To produce a viable alternative to the census, StatsNZ will need to be allowed to join up your record from IRD, to that from MSD and health agencies. If they are given this privilege, then perhaps the census could be shortened and pulled back to 10-yearly. More likely is that they will stop doing the more intrusive sample surveys of households and businesses. There are pretty big privacy/security concerns though, imagine the worst case of IRD, MSD and health data being hacked at once. Lots of work to be done behind the scenes, it's not very sexy. 

As a researcher I use the census data almost daily in doing all sorts of things for the benefit of the public, and if it weren't for the census, then a lot more annoying surveys would be needed to achieve the same outcomes


I imagine if he has this major problem with filling out a form which goes to a place my Stats NZ every 4 years, the idea Govt departments might share his personal data in order to build a profile might cause his head to explode :) 



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  Reply # 1114890 24-Aug-2014 23:49
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networkn:

I imagine if he has this major problem with filling out a form which goes to a place my Stats NZ every 4 years, the idea Govt departments might share his personal data in order to build a profile might cause his head to explode :) 



If that comment is meant to refer to me, then I don't actually have a phenomenal problem with filling in the census every four years. I accept that the government needs a good data set on income, population, age and health status etc in order to plan and deliver services like hospitals and schools.

I do think it's unnecessary to go to all the time and expense of a census to get this, and that (as in Germany) they could just use other data sources and save quite a bit of money and aggravation.

I also think that some of the questions asked are utterly unnecessary. As I said before, things like my racial background and religious affiliation (or lack thereof) aren't something the state needs to know. If they are going to persist with a census then they should at least pare it back to the questions the state has a bona fide reason for needing the information from.



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  Reply # 1114891 24-Aug-2014 23:55
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JimmyH:
networkn:

I imagine if he has this major problem with filling out a form which goes to a place my Stats NZ every 4 years, the idea Govt departments might share his personal data in order to build a profile might cause his head to explode :) 



If that comment is meant to refer to me, then I don't actually have a phenomenal problem with filling in the census every four years. I accept that the government needs a good data set on income, population, age and health status etc in order to plan and deliver services like hospitals and schools.

I do think it's unnecessary to go to all the time and expense of a census to get this, and that (as in Germany) they could just use other data sources and save quite a bit of money and aggravation.

I also think that some of the questions asked are utterly unnecessary. As I said before, things like my racial background and religious affiliation (or lack thereof) aren't something the state needs to know. If they are going to persist with a census then they should at least pare it back to the questions the state has a bona fide reason for needing the information from.


It wasn't actually directed at you, but what is the harm in providing said information?


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  Reply # 1114907 25-Aug-2014 02:26
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JimmyH:
networkn:

I imagine if he has this major problem with filling out a form which goes to a place my Stats NZ every 4 years, the idea Govt departments might share his personal data in order to build a profile might cause his head to explode :) 



If that comment is meant to refer to me, then I don't actually have a phenomenal problem with filling in the census every four years. I accept that the government needs a good data set on income, population, age and health status etc in order to plan and deliver services like hospitals and schools.

I do think it's unnecessary to go to all the time and expense of a census to get this, and that (as in Germany) they could just use other data sources and save quite a bit of money and aggravation.

I also think that some of the questions asked are utterly unnecessary. As I said before, things like my racial background and religious affiliation (or lack thereof) aren't something the state needs to know. If they are going to persist with a census then they should at least pare it back to the questions the state has a bona fide reason for needing the information from.


As said multiple times in this thread though, it's not just the state that uses this information received from a census. 

Plus you said you think it's unnecessary to waste money on a census, but you're doing exactly that. Everyones tax dollars went towards the census, and paid for your census forms to be printed, packed and delivered to you in some way, and then collected and processed. You putting useless info on the form or not filling it in is just wasting money thats already been spent. It's pretty selfish tbh




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  Reply # 1114919 25-Aug-2014 07:53
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networkn: [Census stuff] ... is part of my responsibilities as a Kiwi.





Totally agree, as also indicated by several others above. I could have just done a "+1" but want to add that I see this as being much in the same vein as the responsibility to do jury duty when requested, as discussed here some weeks ago.

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  Reply # 1114980 25-Aug-2014 11:01
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networkn:
 

Actually statistical analysis is more important for a population our size and the geographical spread. It takes more analysis in order to fully ascertain needs of the spread communities so that services are targeted for most need thus better utilising tax payer monies.



I think you are wasting your time. For some people on particular topics, it would seem "I don't wanna" trumps all evidence fact and reason.  Regardless of his opinion on this, it's law. He can comply, move, or pay the aforementioned taxation for the privilege of not complying with the laws, when it suits him.



No you comply but spoil the ballot paper as it were.





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  Reply # 1114984 25-Aug-2014 11:06
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One is required under the Statistics Act 1975 to answer the Census and further required to answer the Census correctly.




Mike
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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

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The great divide is the lies from both sides.

 

 


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  Reply # 1114994 25-Aug-2014 11:17
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KiwiNZ: One is required under the Statistics Act 1975 to answer the Census and further required to answer the Census correctly.


One is required by the Road Traffic Act not to speed etc also...! The law requires people to do many things (or not do them) which are ignored every day.

With 4.5 million papers to check I look forward to them managing to prosecute anyone for that. All the Jedi's would be up for falsely declaring their religion to start with.





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  Reply # 1115007 25-Aug-2014 11:26
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They would not bother about the Jedi answer as the religion question can be legally not answered. In my unimportant opinion anyone answering the Census with false information is being immature.




Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 Mac user, Windows curser, Chrome OS desired.

 

The great divide is the lies from both sides.

 

 


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  Reply # 1115538 25-Aug-2014 22:06
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Geektastic: Of course. How will they know how many Jedi Warriors there are if we do not tell them?


and yet when a campaign a few years back to get Cantabrian recognised as an ethnicty succeeded in reaching the threshold, it was turffed out by SNZ.  SNZ does have a way of making stats be what they want them to be - not what they really are :)  Go the Crusaders!!!!!!




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  Reply # 1115539 25-Aug-2014 22:10
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Geektastic:
KiwiNZ: One is required under the Statistics Act 1975 to answer the Census and further required to answer the Census correctly.


One is required by the Road Traffic Act not to speed etc also...! The law requires people to do many things (or not do them) which are ignored every day.

With 4.5 million papers to check I look forward to them managing to prosecute anyone for that. All the Jedi's would be up for falsely declaring their religion to start with.


But like being maori, isn't that just a state of mind? How you feel about a thing? Well statistically speaking anyway. If you feel like a Jedi - go for it. Me - i don't feel like a Pakeha or European and so always put other - as I am certainly not maori or any other of the common ethnicites listed in the census forms, I am 5-7 generations removed from europe and refuse to be Tou iwi or pakeha.  dos that make it illegal for me to put down Aotearoan as an ethnicity? I feel like an aotearoan and so that's what I am .

Go Jedi!! If you statistically make the grade to be recognised who am I to tell you that you're wrong.









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