Gender issues left out of New Zealand's next census

Stuff 11 August 2017
Family First Comment: Good decision. Imagine the form.
“What gender do you ‘identify’ with?”
And then there would be possibly more that 60 options – and even then somebody would say they’ve been left out!
Imagine the trees needed to print the forms big enough to list all options!
Questions on New Zealanders’ sexuality and gender diversity will be left out of next year’s census because statisticians could not make them work.
The country’s census, held every five years, always includes a mandatory male/female question, but has never addressed gender diversity or sexuality.
Government statistician Liz MacPherson said they were disappointed that after public trials, they could not find questions that would lead to accurate, consistent and useable data.
The topics were among those on a range of issues suggested for the census by members of the public and groups.
Statistics New Zealand was “unable to guarantee the quality of the information that we could gather through a self-completed survey such as the census”, she said.
Instead, gender and sexuality questions will be included in the department’s general social survey next year, which is the country’s biggest survey of well-being. The department considered that because the survey was conducted by interviewers who could add context, the survey would give more accurate data.


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