Article Title:Census figures questioned
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or News Staff
Published on:26th June 2004 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:2395
Text:Concerns have been raised following the use of questionable Census statistics in Parliament relating to same-sex couples. MPs speaking in opposition to the Civil Union bill yesterday used the Census figure of 10,134 cohabiting same-sex couples to say there are not enough people needing the legislation to justify a law change. However, use of the figure has been questioned, as the Census does not specifically count gays and lesbians, meaning the figure used is almost certainly under-reported. "Members of the gay and lesbian communities have lobbied Stats NZ to count gays and lesbians, and Stats NZ have consistently refused to do so," says Christopher Dempsey of GayWatch. "It would be extremely helpful if Stats NZ had worked with the gay and lesbian community - statistics about the gay and lesbian community could be then be used by parliamentarians with confidence." Nancy McBeth of Statistics NZ says they believe the figure represents an undercount of same-sex couples, "but to what extent we cannot say". McBeth says Statistics NZ research has indicated issues particular to the gay and lesbian community meaning that some couples would not publicly disclose their relationship status in a government survey. This, coupled with the fact that same-sex couples not living together are excluded from the figure, calls the accuracy of the number of same-sex couples into question.    
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