15 Feb 2011

Census seeks clearer picture of Maori world

3:27 pm on 15 February 2011

Statistics New Zealand wants to get a clearer picture of the Maori world on Census night on 8 March.

Waatea News reports that more than half a million people, or one in seven New Zealanders, identified as having Maori ethnicity at the 2006 Census, which was 30% up on 2001.

However, Maori participation rates five years ago were below the national average.

Census manager Carol Slappendel says the department is mounting a 'You Count' campaign aimed at Maori.

She says getting accurate numbers for tribal membership and socioeconomic status is becoming increasing important as iwi develop more targeted services for their people.

However, Ms Slappendel says many young people are not aware of the importance of the Census.

Census forms can be filled in on paper or online in English or te reo Maori.