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956 posts

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Topic # 239769 3-Aug-2018 09:32
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https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/105950140/couple-say-compulsory-government-survey-an-intrusion

 

It began with a knock on the door and a letter.

 

It ended with Helen and Doug Schrieber having to sit down with two government officials for over three hours and detail almost every aspect of their personal finances.

 

The Hamilton couple were one of 20,000 households randomly selected from across the country to complete this year's Household Economic Survey.

 

This article raises a number of interesting issues. Stats NZ make it clear that people selected are legally obliged to complete the survey and can be prosecuted if they refuse.

 

But, are you legally obliged to let people into your house?

 

Should you open the door when people knock on it?

 

Are you legally obliged to talk to people from Stats NZ if they phone you?

 

Are you legally obliged to reply to a letter from Stats NZ?

 

Would you have any objection to participating in such a survey?

 

 


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  Reply # 2067291 3-Aug-2018 10:02
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I was selected for this once. 

 

If you are selected you are legally obliged to participate and can be prosecuted, fined if you don't

 

I do object strongly both to an invasion of privacy on that level (any level really).

 

I didn't refuse, but I made the interview a low priority (e.g. cancelled multiple times to go fishing).  Eventually they gave up - their choice. 





Mike

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  Reply # 2067296 3-Aug-2018 10:11
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We have a lot of laws in the Country that I tend to follow, and this one is no exception. So many things in our society are governed by this survey so it is quite important. 

 

If you dont like it I guess you could either try to change the law or choose not to live here.


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  Reply # 2067301 3-Aug-2018 10:16
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 Are you legally obliged to talk to people from Stats NZ if they phone you?

 

Are you legally obliged to reply to a letter from Stats NZ?

 

If you answer the phone, or see the letter in the mailbox or doorstep, Yip,

 

Statistics Act 1975

 

 

Every person commits an offence who fails to produce any books of account, vouchers, documents, or other business records when lawfully required so to do, or who neglects or refuses to fill in and supply the particulars required in any schedule lawfully left with or sent to him, or who neglects or refuses to answer any question or inquiry lawfully addressed to him by the Statistician, or by an employee of the department authorised in writing by the Statistician, and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $500 or, in the case of a body corporate, to a fine not exceeding $2,000.

 

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1975/0001/latest/whole.html#DLM43070

 

if you think it is too much of a burden we could look at changing  the law to give Stats NZ access to Bank account, supermarket/flybuys rewards data and tax records, then there wouldn't be so many questions to answer ..  which would you prefer.....

 

 

 

 

 




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  Reply # 2067303 3-Aug-2018 10:32
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wellygary:

 

 Are you legally obliged to talk to people from Stats NZ if they phone you?

 

Are you legally obliged to reply to a letter from Stats NZ?

 

If you answer the phone, or see the letter in the mailbox or doorstep, Yip,

 

Statistics Act 1975

 

Every person commits an offence who fails to produce any books of account, vouchers, documents, or other business records when lawfully required so to do, or who neglects or refuses to fill in and supply the particulars required in any schedule lawfully left with or sent to him, or who neglects or refuses to answer any question or inquiry lawfully addressed to him by the Statistician, or by an employee of the department authorised in writing by the Statistician, and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $500 or, in the case of a body corporate, to a fine not exceeding $2,000.

 

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1975/0001/latest/whole.html#DLM43070

 

if you think it is too much of a burden we could look at changing  the law to give Stats NZ access to Bank account, supermarket/flybuys rewards data and tax records, then there wouldn't be so many questions to answer ..  which would you prefer.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NZ Census gives Stats NZ a lot of information, so I guess some people can't understand why this isn't sufficient.

 

If the phone rings and someone says they are from the Microsoft Technical Dept or Stats NZ or Harcourts etc etc, I would routinely hang-up without saying anything. I doubt whether you're obliged to talk over the phone to anyone you don't know personally?

 

If you don't reply to a letter, I guess they can send a few follow-ups, but I doubt whether they'd bother going through all the steps to prosecute an individual when the fine is only $500?

 

If someone knocks on the front door, I only answer it if I know personally the person who is knocking (peepholes or video cameras are quite useful)! I suggest others do likewise.


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  Reply # 2067310 3-Aug-2018 10:35
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frednz:

 

If someone knocks on the front door, I only answer it if I know personally the person who is knocking (peepholes are quite useful)! I suggest others do likewise.

 

 

Oh FFS - has fear, loathing, and paranoia really reached this level in NZ?


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  Reply # 2067314 3-Aug-2018 10:46
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frednz:

 

If someone knocks on the front door, I only answer it if I know personally the person who is knocking (peepholes or video cameras are quite useful)! I suggest others do likewise.

 

 

I guess that is one way to cut down on courier deliveries that need signatures...


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  Reply # 2067410 3-Aug-2018 12:10
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They can't access our property unless they trespass or are invited.

They can't leave post as there's no box at the gate either.

If they can find our postal address I suppose they can mail it.






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  Reply # 2067412 3-Aug-2018 12:10
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Just poison the well, Just answer  as "best you can" and get it over with. If they are using the income stats for spending in your area would it not be best to tick the lowest level income bracket so more money is spent in your area.


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  Reply # 2067416 3-Aug-2018 12:19
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I would strongly object to this. There is already enough snooping on people's lives. I don't know what other countries have this kind of legislation, but this is the first one I have lived in. I would use every trick I could think of to avoid it and when I could think of no more, I would just pay the bloody $500.

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2067422 3-Aug-2018 12:24
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Fred99:

 

frednz:

 

If someone knocks on the front door, I only answer it if I know personally the person who is knocking (peepholes are quite useful)! I suggest others do likewise.

 

 

Oh FFS - has fear, loathing, and paranoia really reached this level in NZ?

 

 

 

 

I just don't answer the door at all unless I'm expecting someone. Nothing to do with fear/loathing or paranoia, but laziness I cbf dealing with someone trying to sell power/internet or save the "animal/plant" of the week.


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  Reply # 2067434 3-Aug-2018 12:40
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The thing is, the govt already have earnings data - assuming people are paying tax.





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  Reply # 2067436 3-Aug-2018 12:45
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MikeAqua:

 

The thing is, the govt already have earnings data - assuming people are paying tax.

 

 

Thats not what they want. "almost every aspect of their personal finances"


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  Reply # 2067441 3-Aug-2018 12:55
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cruxis:

 

Just poison the well, Just answer  as "best you can" and get it over with. If they are using the income stats for spending in your area would it not be best to tick the lowest level income bracket so more money is spent in your area.

 

 

If you poison the well, and give incorrect information, do NOT complain when money is spent on things which aren't truly important. 

 

I loathe these surveys, I don't even like census. I have had to do them for the for the last 4 years in my business. They are massively time consuming. It's a legal requirement so I have no choice unless I want thousands of dollar of fines, but if I get one this year, someone is getting a call. 

 

They need to spread it around, not target people who are "compliant". 

 

 


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  Reply # 2067444 3-Aug-2018 13:00
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I don't see any issue with it personally, As this is how the government decide on how to split funding it makes sense to get as much info as possible.

 

I was selected to do a survey by Stats NZ earlier this year, Although it was on physical activity it did ask personal questions re health/medical conditions which I had no issues completing. Was sent a letter saying I was selected and a url to a StatsNZ page to fill out, Then again 3 months later with a follow up survey. 




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  Reply # 2067447 3-Aug-2018 13:08
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wellygary:

 

frednz:

 

If someone knocks on the front door, I only answer it if I know personally the person who is knocking (peepholes or video cameras are quite useful)! I suggest others do likewise.

 

 

I guess that is one way to cut down on courier deliveries that need signatures...

 

 

OK fair comment, when I'm expecting a courier delivery, they usually arrive at the same time of day and an easily recognisable courier van drives up our driveway. Although I may not personally know the courier driver, I will open the door to receive my parcel.

 

If I wasn't expecting a parcel and didn't recognise the delivery van, I would just let them leave a card and pick up whatever it is from their office (in case it's unwanted rubbish)!

 

The reason I don't open the door to everybody is not so much that I'm afraid it's an escaped violent loony (and there was one of these in our district a few days ago) but more because some groups are just a real nuisance. You can think of a few, such as Statistics NZ or the Jehovah's Witnesses who will thrust unwanted literature at you and ask you to watch a video etc. If you are kind to them (as one of my neighbours is) they keep coming back and knocking on your door and leaving unwanted stuff in your letter box. It's not paranoia not wanting to encourage people and groups you don't like, it's just good common sense and time management.

 

A friend of mine opened the door a while ago to a solo mum he didn't know and after listening for a while to her (true) sob story about how she couldn't feed her young kid or pay her bills, he gave her $500 cash on the spot. Naturally, she returned a few more times after that. Now he might be a real gentleman, but guess what, the authorities later told him he shouldn't have opened the door to her and he definitely shouldn't have encouraged her by giving her money. She was well known to the authorities for doing this and they were very tough on her.

 

 


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