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Ed Sheeran

Government Statistician out for the count
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Liz MacPherson has resigned as the Government Statistician and chief executive of Stats NZ after the release of a damning independent review of the 2018 Census.

The reviewers, management consultant Murray Jack and Canadian census expert Connie Graziadei, found while the model used for the Census was sound, implementation fell short, meaning among other gaps that one in five Māori were not counted.

Ms MacPherson says the department was too optimistic, placed too much emphasis on the online census, and did not have robust contingency plans in place for when things started to go wrong.

It also failed its Treaty partners.

Work done to back-fill the census with administrative data held by government agencies means the Census can still be used for key uses, including calculating the number of Māori electorates and setting the population projections that feed into DHB funding.

Because of the extra work required, the first official 2018 Census results won't be until September 23.


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