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Wintec boosts census numbers for Stats NZ

The Census team at the Wintec |Te Pūkenga City Campus Hub, spent the day supporting students and staff to complete Census forms before the deadline on Wednesday 3 May. Left to right, Tim MacIndoe, Team Leader, Melisa Kristie, Senior Collector, Ross Officer, Senior Collector, Godfrey Bridger, Area Manager of Census Operations in the Waikato and Jackie Kofoed - Census Collector.

Wintec helped Stats NZ give 2023 Census numbers a boost through their student hubs.

With more 2023 Census forms to be returned to Stats NZ, and factors such as recent extreme weather impacting participation, Waikato Area Manager for Statistics New Zealand, Godfrey Bridger, reached out to Wintec | Te Pūkenga to see if they could help by trialing an innovative new approach to increase census responses. To boost participation, Stats NZ extended the deadline for completion and launched a strategy of engaging with non-responders through public events and institutions. 

Godfrey invited Wintec to support this strategy by facilitating Statists NZ to hold census stalls on Wintec campuses. 

Wintec | Te Pūkenga Director of Communications, Erin Andersen, jumped at the opportunity to support this important community initiative, quickly arranging space in Wintec’s two hubs at its Hamilton City and Rotokauri campuses, and getting the word out there widely via its kaimahi and ākonga communication channels. 

Erin said, “Our Wintec campuses represent a wonderful diversity, including our Rainbow community and learners with disabilities. Within our City campus specifically, we have a large number of international students and people from migrant communities, and our Rotokauri campus has a high representation of Māori and Pacific learners. 

“As such a diverse community of kaimahi and ākonga, it is really important that as many of our people as possible are captured by the 2023 Census, to ensure people of all ethnicities and walks of life are represented and can get the support they need in the future.

Two Stats NZ Senior Collectors, Ross Officer and Melisa Kristie, brought a team of staff to the Wintec Hubs, where they engaged with passing staff and students to offer support to complete their census forms.

Across two days, the teams managed to collect an additional 65 census responses which might otherwise have missed this year's census. 

Stats NZ Senior Collector, Ross Officer reported back to Wintec after the initiative, “This result beat all of our expectations, and is considered to be nothing less than stellar. It would have taken us a great deal more work ‘on the road’ approaching people individually to achieve this.”

Ross thanked Wintec for hosting the initiative on short notice, “We could not have achieved these results without your excellent cooperation!”

He also made a special mention of Wintec English tutor Karen Van der Lingen (pictured below), “A special mention and appreciation to your kind English Tutor, who marched down no less than about eight of her students, to sign up their census forms on the spot. We truly applaud her initiative.”

Wintec | Te Pūkenga Academic Staff Member, Centre for Languages, Karen Van Der Lingen (Right), helped connect many of her English language learners with the Collectors to get their Census forms completed. Pictured with Tim MacIndoe and Melisa Kristie. 

Census collectors conclude their work on Wednesday, 3 May 2023. Anyone still wishing to complete their census forms can do by returning the paper forms that were delivered to their household or by completing their census forms online.

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