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NZ Compulsory Census Privacy Breach

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gracefromspace
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NZ Compulsory Census Privacy Breach

Postby gracefromspace » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:41 am

Are there any kiwi's on this forum who may be considered off grid and eluded the Census people with the forms that we MUST fill out today by law? In view of the privacy guarantee being breached which was revealed yesterday - an official census form distributor handed an already filled out "confidential" form to another member of the public, are you willing to complete the census and reveal ALL your private details to another person?
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susannah755
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Re: NZ Compulsory Census Privacy Breach

Postby susannah755 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:14 am

Grace you may be able to ask the census people for a return envelope and post your completed paperwork in rather than having to hand it to a collector. We have the option here to request an envelope (but not everyone knows about it)
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Russell Coight....outback legend

gracefromspace
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Re: NZ Compulsory Census Privacy Breach

Postby gracefromspace » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:21 pm

Yes, I read that you can post them in Susannah, in the end we felt if we didn't do them someone was sure to come back and hassle us, so we decided to do them online. I am still in protest of being asked extremely private questions on the forms that I feel are completely unneccessary, so wherever possible I answered "I object to answering". Some of the info really is none of their business and I'm sure there are many other people who feel as though it is an invasion of privacy, but with the threat of large fines if you don't do it or even be arrested :twisted: , what option do you have apart from leaving the country for one night :x
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susannah755
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Re: NZ Compulsory Census Privacy Breach

Postby susannah755 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:36 am

Same thing here Grace - total invasion of privacy just so the Gov't can keep an eye on us. It was the breach of privacy you mentioned that had me concerned :shock:
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Russell Coight....outback legend

gracefromspace
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Re: NZ Compulsory Census Privacy Breach

Postby gracefromspace » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:47 am

susannah755 wrote:Same thing here Grace - total invasion of privacy just so the Gov't can keep an eye on us. It was the breach of privacy you mentioned that had me concerned :shock:


That was our biggest concern too Susannah, the census people have said that they are, quote, "VERY SORRY" :evil: but what about the poor people who had their "completely private" information revealed to a complete stanger ? I was extremely tempted not to do the forms and use that privacy breach as an example of why I shouldn't, but you know what govt's are like when we try to make an example of them when they are wrong...
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doctrox
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Re: NZ Compulsory Census Privacy Breach

Postby doctrox » Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:29 am

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This is from the NZ govt. census web site (all bold red emphases are mine):

“What is the census?

The census is the official count of how many people and households there are in New Zealand. It takes a snapshot of the people in New Zealand and the places where we live.

By law, Statistics NZ must hold a census once every five years, and everyone must fill in a form.”

Webster defines “census” as: “An authentic declaration made before the censors, by the citizens, of their names and places of abode.”

So, all the census requires from a “citizen,” by definition, is his name and his place of abode.

According to the New Zealand Statistics Act 1975, Part 3, Section 24 [ http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1975/0001/latest/whole.html#DLM430799 ],

subpart (1) states: “At every census of population and dwellings particulars relating to all of the following matters shall be obtained from every occupier or person in charge of a dwelling:

• (a) the name and address, sex, age, and ethnic origin of every occupant of the dwelling:
• (b) particulars of the dwelling as to location, number of rooms, ownership, and number of occupants on census night.”

and

subpart (2) states: “At any census of population and dwellings the Statistician may, if he considers it in the public interest so to do, obtain from every occupier or person in charge of a dwelling particulars relating to all or any of the following additional matters: [etc. etc. etc.]”

Note the important distinction between “shall” and “may.” While they “shall” require your name and /place of abode, they “may” “obtain...additional matters.” “May” denotes that your permission is required; don’t give them permission i.e. if you refuse to provide any “additional matters,” they cannot prosecute you for refusing!

Also, on the FAQ page of the official website of the New Zealand 2013 Census [ http://www.census.govt.nz/about-census/faq.aspx ],

“How does Statistics NZ decide which questions to ask?

Several topics must, by law, be included in the New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings. Under the Statistics Act 1975 we are required to ask every person in New Zealand on census day for their:

• name and address
• sex
• age
• ethnicity.

For every occupied dwelling in New Zealand on census day we must ask for that dwelling's:

• location
• number of rooms
• ownership
• number of occupants on census night.

We collect information about Māori descent and the usual residence of all people living in New Zealand to help determine electorate boundaries (required under the Electoral Act 1993).

We include other topics because they produce information of significant value to New Zealand. We also have to consider other factors when deciding what questions we ask, such as:

• whether the census is the most appropriate method of collecting the information
• cost of collecting the data
• quality of the data produced
• public acceptability
• burden on the New Zealand public
• continuity with previous censuses.

Statistics NZ consults widely with the public about the questions asked in the census.”

The census authority can and does "ask" whatever it likes, whenever it likes - indeed, it is legally required to ask, but the citizen is not legally required to answer all of the non-census questions. Be aware that the authority uses deceptive legalise to confuse you (by conflating "shall" and "may") and deceive you into believing that something is mandatory when, in fact, it is voluntary. The truth, as you have seen per their own law, is that a citizen is legally required to answer only those questions which pertain to a census i.e. name/people and place of abode/household.
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angeebiggles
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Re: NZ Compulsory Census Privacy Breach

Postby angeebiggles » Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:37 pm

good answer. I now know what not to put on my census form. thanks
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