Article Title:Stats NZ has bigger fish to fry
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or Credit:GayNZ.com News Staff
Published on:7th November 2003 - 12:00 pm
Published by:GayNZ.com
Story ID:2095
Text:Statistics New Zealand has defended its decision not to include a sexual orientation question in the 2006 Census with some comments which seem to suggest there are segments of the population that Statistics New Zealand considers more important. "The research commissioned by Statistics New Zealand indicated mixed levels of support," says Nancy McBeth, the general manager of Statistics New Zealand's Population Census Division. "Those that were less accepting included Pacific peoples, Asian people, rural people and older people – some of these are key policy interest groups that Statistics New Zealand already has difficulty eliciting responses from." Ms McBeth indicated a lack of interest from government policy agencies, and an inter-agency working group which is currently developing a Social Statistics Programme. Copies of formal submissions sent to GayNZ.com by Statistics New Zealand include two very detailed and compelling arguments from both the Human Rights Commission and the NZ AIDS Foundation, as well as numerous supportive submissions from the public. One submission from a member of the public quoted several prominent politicians who predicted resistance from Statistics New Zealand to the inclusion of a sexual orientation question. Jim Anderton noted that “the Stats department would resist like crazy”, while John Tamihere said that Statistics New Zealand were “a very conservative bunch of technocrats”. Both had no problem with the inclusion of the question in the Census.    
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