Social Issues

New Zealand carries out census, includes pop star Harry Styles

Sydney, Australia, Mar 7 (EFE).- Touring British pop star Harry Styles was to be included in the census New Zealand was carrying on Tuesday, and which this year asked new questions about sexual orientation and gender identity.

As he was in the country Tuesday, Styles was required to fill out the forms, which could be submitted by post or completed online, Deputy Chief Executive for Census and Collection Operations Simon Mason confirmed on Tuesday to public broadcaster Radio New Zealand.

The official 2023 Census Twitter account had also confirmed this in response to a media question at the end of last month, in which it CC’d in “the country.”

“Thank you for this important query. Everyone who is in Aotearoa New Zealand on census night (Tuesday 7 March), needs to be counted in the census. This includes tourists, visitors, and former members of One Direction,” it said alongside an “artist’s impression” of Styles filling out a census form drawn onto a photo with Microsoft Paint.

As of 5.30 am Tuesday morning, more than 1.4 million people (of the estimated 5.1 million residents) had responded to the survey, according to data from Statistics NZ, which hoped to beat the 90 percent participation rate recorded in the last census carried out in 2018.

The country’s first census was carried out in 1851 and is done every five years. This year it included new questions on sexual orientation and gender identity for people aged 15 and over.

“The rainbow community, which hasn’t been well-represented in the data in the past, will now be represented in the data … so their needs can be further met by better allocation of funding through government agencies,” Mason said.

“A lot of the data we collect goes towards population-based health funding, so it’s really important – particularly in the health area, education – that we get the rainbow community represented here.”

Those who are in the country and do not fill out the census or give false information are subject to a fine of NZ$2,000 ($1,240).

The deadline has been extended until June 1 for those in some regions affected by Cyclone Gabrielle, which hit the North Island in February. EFE


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