Nearly 100 people have had a prosecution brought against them
by Statistics New Zealand for failing to fill in last year's
Christchurch, Kaikohe and Whangarei were the areas with the
worst offenders. There was no region where there were no
prosecutions, Statistics New Zealand said.
Charges against nearly two dozen people were dropped after
they appeared in court and filled in their forms, and 23
Census-dodgers were ordered to pay fines ranging between $50
Filling in the forms is mandatory under the Statistics Act
1975 and failure to do so could result in a maximum $500
By law the Census needed to be completed nationwide every
five years. However, the latest one was postponed by two
years because the amount of people displaced by the 2011
Census 2013 general manager Sarah Minson said SNZ continued
to encourage people to complete their forms if the did not do
so on Census night - March 5, 2013.
Since Census night, SNZ had done everything possible to
encourage people to participate but, as a last resort, might
prosecute people who refuse to fill in their forms or provide
false information, she said.
"When deciding to prosecute someone for not completing their
census form we use the following criteria ... Whether an
offence has been committed; whether there is sufficient
legally admissible evidence to prove the charge beyond
reasonable doubt; the seriousness of the offence and the
personal circumstances of the individual."
Hastings man Thomas Martin escaped a fine when he filled the
forms in at his District Court appearance last December.
Outside court Martin said he had decided to plead guilty to
the charge and fill in the forms after getting legal advice.
Judge Bridget MacIntosh convicted and discharged him.
But he still disagreed with being forced to fill in the
In 2006, after the previous Census, SNZ prosecuted 72 people,
resulting in 41 convictions.
By the numbers:
* 99 cases have been filed in the District Courts and
pre-hearings arranged for them;
* SNZ has been unable to issue a summons for five people;
* 10 people have been confirmed as Gone No Address so their
charges have been withdrawn;
* 22 defendants have completed their forms and the charges
against these have been withdrawn prior to going to court;
* 23 defendants have been convicted and fined between $50
-200 per charge;
* 11 defendants have pleaded not guilty; and
* 28 were either still yet to appear or had appeared but SNZ
had not been notified about the outcome.
By the region: Auckland 8, Blenheim 3, Christchurch 15,
Greymouth 1, Hamilton 5, Hastings 1, Huntly 2, Hutt Valley 2,
Invercargill 1, Kaikohe 11, Manukau 2,
Marton/Wanganui 1, Masterton 1, Morrinsville 4, Nelson 2, New
Plymouth 1, North Shore 2, Palmerston North 2,
Papakura 3, Porirua 2, Pukekohe 2, Rangiora 2, Ruatoria 2,
Tauranga 2, Thames 3, Timaru / Oamaru 1, Waihi 1, Waitakere
4, Wellington 4, Westport 1, Whangarei 8.