Report Of Statutory Review Of New Zealand’s 2023 Census

Report of the Statutory Review of New Zealand’s 2023 Census provides an assessment of 2023 Census operations and support functions from design through to the completion of field operations, and data delivery plans and progress to the end of January 2024. The report also makes recommendations for future censuses.

This review has been conducted in accordance with section 37 of the Data and Statistics Act 2022.

For the 2023 Census, the Government Statistician directed for the review to be an independent external review.

Independent consultant Murray Jack and Director General Statistics Canada Geoff Bowlby carried out the review between November 2023 and March 2024.

Terms of reference for the review

These are the terms of reference established at the beginning of the review.

Purpose and objectives of the review

The review will:

  • build on the insights provided by other internal and external reviews
  • provide an overall prognosis of:
    • the effectiveness of the 2023 Census design and execution, including interim response rates and achievement of the agreed key performance indicators (KPIs)
    • the approach and plans for data delivery
    • the functioning and effectiveness of iwi-led collections, including draft interim response rates, cost-of-serve, and impact on the 2023 Census
    • the effectiveness of the results from the 2023 Census, based on the data included in the first release
  • capture key learnings and insights that can be utilised in the design, set-up, governance, and delivery of the 2028 Census.

Review scope

Internal collections phase review

Review of the internal collections phase report (completed July to August 2023) and 2023 Census Programme workstream closure reports (produced June to August 2023).

Independent quality assurance review #6 (IQA #6)

Review of the results of IQA #6 produced by Independent Quality Assurance New Zealand (IQANZ) in October 2023.

Delivery performance

Review the effectiveness of execution of the 2023 Census design, including operational readiness, operational leadership, the performance of the Operational Leadership Team, response reaction effectiveness, recruitment results, enablement results, delivery of all respondent materials, delivery of the marketing, communications, and engagement materials, and the operation of the enabling technology.

Collections results

Review of collections results, including draft interim response rates, to be derived from the provisional CURF (census dataset).

Data delivery plans and progress to date

Review of the plans and progress of the data delivery workstream, including plans to combine admin data, and plans and progress to produce the CURFs and data releases.

Functioning of the iwi-led collections initiative

Review of the effectiveness of the iwi-led collections initiative (Te Mana Whakatipu), including draft interim response rates, cost-of-serve, and the impact on the 2023 Census.

The reviewers and their role

The reviewers are Murray Jack, independent consultant, and Geoff Bowlby, Director General Statistics Canada. Mr Jack participated in the independent review of the 2018 Census.

The reviewers will exercise independent judgement regardless of the process they follow as part of the review, the nature and depth of their investigation, and the communication of their findings and advice.

Reviewers will have access to all Stats NZ documentation, personnel, and internal and external communications that they consider is relevant. They will engage with Stats NZ staff, and where appropriate third-party providers, and key stakeholders, and are expected to see a wide range of perspectives and views of the 2023 Census, including from Māori and iwi.

The first phase of the review will focus on assessing the design, planning, and collection phases of the census (as these phases are already completed). This will include information gathering and analysis, making use of the census business case, planning documentation, operational management information, project closure reports, internal effectiveness reviews, and interviews with staff.

Where appropriate, it will also include gathering information from key stakeholders and interest groups about their experience of the 2023 Census.

The second phase of the review will focus on providing any further findings arising from consideration of the data processing and analysis phase of the census.

A final report of the review will be delivered to the Minister of Statistics and the Government Statistician no later than 7 March 2024 and be published publicly.

ISBN 978-1-99-104973-5 (online)

/Stats NZ Public Release. View in full here.