1.2 million census forms already filled out

Morning Talk 05/03/2018

Census 2018 General Manager Denise McGregor says more than a million people have now filled in their census forms online.

The 2018 census is the first to be offered on the internet.

Denise McGregor says while the official census day is March 6, but that doesn't mean people can't fill out their forms early.

"If you know where you're going to be staying on March 6, then you can complete the form before census day, if you prefer," she said.

Addressing concerns that many people haven’t yet received their online code or that they’re having trouble with the free phone line, Denise McGregor told RadioLIVE’s Mark Sainsbury that all is not lost.

We have got a two minute wait on calls at the moment, we are aware and our contact centre is investigating why this is happening.

In a change up from previous years, Stats NZ hopes has made a big push to get as many of the census forms filled in online as possible.

It hopes up as many as 70 percent of census forms will be completed online, and Mrs McGregor said so far more people aged over 65 than those between 15 to 25 had completed the form.

"Since February 19, when the online system opened, we've had responses from people aged up to 100 years, which is really encouraging," she said.

"We're confident that people of all ages are finding the online forms quick and easy to complete."

Stats NZ has already posted most households in New Zealand a letter with an access code containing the information needed to fill in the census form online.

However, there had been some delays in Northland, West Coast, Tasman, and the Gisborne area due to flooding and slips caused by Cyclone Gita and their remote location, Mrs McGregor said.

They were expected to receive their codes before March 6.

Tune in to the full interview with Denise McGregor above

Morning Talk with Mark Sainsbury, weekdays from 9am-noon on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the ROVA app on Android and iPhone.

Some of the content of this article appeared earlier on Newshub.co.nz

Newshub/RadioLIVE.