New Zealand Census

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Censuses are a count and a description of the population. They are taken primarily for population studies, taxation, and military purposes. Information in censuses may include residences, ages, birthplaces, family members and relationships, occupations, emigration dates and migration.

New Zealand Census Information Centers

Our Information Centre staff know what information is available, and how it can be used to your best advantage. Think of them as your guides to Statistics New Zealand.

They will answer simple questions free of charge. More extensive answers may sometimes incur costs, but we always give you a free no-obligation quote before going ahead.

Each Information Centre has a collection of Statistics NZ publications and Internet access. These can be browsed and copied but material cannot be borrowed.

Here are a list of the centers and their information:


UniServices House
70 Symonds Street
Private Bag 92003
Auckland 1142
Phone: (09) 920 9100
Fax: (09) 920 9198


Statistics House, The Boulevard, Harbour Quays
PO Box 2922
Wellington 6140
Phone: (04) 931 4600
Fax: (04) 931 4610


Dollan House, 401 Madras Street
Private Bag 4741
Christchurch 8140
Phone: (03) 964 8700
Fax: (03) 964 8964

Education services

Phone: +64 4 931 4924

Media enquiries

For general enquiries:
Contact Anne Hannah
Phone: +64 4 931 4630

For statistical information:

Phone: 0508 525 525 (toll-free in New Zealand)

Information about people in New Zealand includes details about the population (eg births, deaths, age, education, ethnicity, life expectancy), the communities we live in (eg families and households, housing, work and income), and social themes (eg crime, the road toll, poverty).

Information about population includes details about the number and characteristics of people who live in New Zealand. These numbers are produced as:

  • counts (from five-yearly censuses that count people and their characteristics, eg age, sex and ethnicity)
  • estimates (estimated changes to the population using census counts and births, deaths and migration)
  • projections (projected future changes to the population).

Population information also provides details about events that affect the number and structure of the population. These include births, deaths, migration, marriage and divorce.

The population of New Zealand was enumerated from 1858 to the present. However, the pre-1966 returns have been destroyed with the exception of a few for the Maori population (1891-Famly History Library film 449437, item 2; 1911-Family History Library film 449444, item 8). Post-1966 returns are closed to the public until 2066.

Since most census returns have been destroyed, researchers use substitutes which list people, such as almanacs and directories, electoral rolls, lists of property owners and occupants, juror lists, New Zealand Voting Registers, and school records.

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