Census help offered

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    SeniorNet South publicity officer Lesley Marshall is offering a free service to help older Southlanders fill out online census forms this year. Photo: Petrina Wright

    IT is census time again, and SeniorNet South is offering to help Southland’s older residents fill out their census forms online.

    “There is help available and it won’t cost them,” SeniorNet South publicity officer Lesley Marshall said.

    The service was directed towards people aged 50 years and over, but volunteers would help anybody who needed it, she said.

    “We won’t turn down anybody.”

    This year, Statistics New Zealand is promoting its online form as the principal method for people to use to fill out their census forms. However, paper forms would be supplied to those who requested them.

    The SeniorNet Federation has partnered with Statistics New Zealand to provide a free service to assist those who are not confident using online mediums to fill out the forms.

    Ms Marshall said those who sought assistance with completing the online forms would be guaranteed discreet, confidential service from the volunteer tutors.

    “We are not going to remember [anyway].”

    The service is being offered until Friday, March 9.

    The census is run by Statistics New Zealand every five years to obtain an official count of how many people and dwellings there are in New Zealand.

    The information collected is used by authorities to help make decisions about where services, such as hospitals, schools, roads and public transport, are needed and where government funding should be allocated.

    Under the Statistics Act 1975, everyone in New Zealand is required to take part in the census.

    The official date of the New Zealand Census 2018 is Tuesday, March 6.

    For more information about the SeniorNet South service, phone (03) 214 5264. To obtain a paper form, phone the census helpline on 0800 CENSUS (0800 236 787). The form is available in languages other than English, including Hindi, Chinese, Maori, Samoan and Korean.

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