Census called off due to earthquake

Census would be an unfair burden on grieving nation, Statistics Minister Williamson says

The planned Census on March 8 has been cancelled because of the Christchurch earthquake.

A statement from Statistics Minister Maurice Williamson's office notes:

"The decision has been made after extensive consultation.

“This is not the time to go door to door asking New Zealanders for information when they’re dealing with the aftermath of the earthquake.

“It’s unthinkable that we would ask this of people. It would be an unfair burden and distraction at a time when they are grieving.”

As noted by Computerworld yesterday, the statement says: "There has been extensive damage to Statistics New Zealand buildings with significant impacts on census staff.

"Mr Bascand said he acknowledges the decision will have consequences for people who use the census data in their work.

“We will now investigate the feasibility of alternative options” he says.

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