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Census Information (1996)

1. Identification Information
2. Contact Details
3. Spatial Information
4. Data Acquisition History
5. Data Quality Information
6. Distribution Information
7. Status Information
8. Further Metadata Information

1. Identification Information

Data Set Name:

Census Information (1996)

Data Set Abstract:

The 1996 Census GIS layer contains population and dwelling data for the Waikato Region at meshblock, area unit, Territorial Local Authority and regional level.

Content of Data Set:

This dataset describes the population of the Waikato Region. Censuses are surveys of every household and person in New Zealand and are conducted by Statistics New Zealand every five years under Section 23(1) of the Statistics Act 1975. The purpose of the census is to collect demographic and social statistics for use in planning and decision making. This census was conducted on 5 March 1996 and provides a snapshot of the New Zealand population on that day.

The attributes available in the GIS layer are: total population, usually resident population, sex, age, ethnicity, place of birth, highest qualification, employment, occupation, personal income, household income, household composition, dwellings, tenure, means of heating and cooking, number of motor vehicles, means of travel to work and industry.

All people in New Zealand on the night of 5 March 1996 were required to complete an individual census form or have one completed for them. One person from each household in New Zealand was required to complete a dwelling form.

GIS Feature Names:



Key Words:

Population, population statistics, demographic profile, census data.


People, GIS

Data Set Ids:


EWDOCS# 881724

Metadata Date:

20 September 2006

2. Contact Details

Contact Organisation:

Waikato Regional Council.

Contact Position:

GIS & Data Management Team Leader.


Resource Information Group

Contact Address:

401 Grey St.,
Hamilton East.


Statistic's NZ.

3. Spatial Information

Geographic Extent:

Waikato Region

NZ Map Grid Co-ordinates:


Positional Accuracy:

The meshblock boundaries have been hand digitised from large scale Electoral Record Maps (ERM). These maps are drawn at various scales but predominantly 1:5000 scale is used in urban areas and 1:50,000 are used in rural areas. The meshblock boundaries have been adjusted to conform to the DCDB definition. There are different levels of accuracy available from the supplier, Waikato Regional Council purchased the meshblock and area unit boundaries at Level 2 accuracy. The Local Authority boundaries are Level 1 accuracy.

4. Data Acquisition History

Period and Frequency of Record:

Census data is collected every five years. The data is accurate for the day of the census and the GIS layer provides a snapshot of the regional population on 5 March 1996.

Data Acquisition Method(s):

The data was collected by Statistics New Zealand through written surveys delivered to and collected from every household in the country. An individual survey form was required to be completed by or for, every person in New Zealand and one dwelling form was required for every household.

Waikato Regional Council received the data with the Supermap3 software package and then exported it into GIS.

5. Data Quality Information

Data Quality:

The quality of the attribute data is dependent on the ability and willingness of the respondents to answer the questions. Where census forms were incomplete or answers were clearly erroneous, the variables were imputed. The four variables affected were usual residence (3.9%), age (3.9%), sex (3.3%) and labour force status (6.1%).

Attribute Accuracy:

The maps were digitised by Land Information New Zealand and translated by Terralink New Zealand Ltd.

Meshblock pattern date: 1996

Map projection: New Zealand Map Grid

Level 2 Digital Meshblock Boundaries were created by generalising the Level 1 Digital Meshblock Boundaries using the Douglas-Puecker algorithm with a 20 metre tunnel width.


98% of people usually resident in New Zealand responded to the 1996 census. It is estimated that 49,000 people were not counted and 6,000 people were counted twice, giving a net undercount of 43,000 people.

Since 1981, Statistics New Zealand has utilised a confidentiality assurance technique of randomly rounding census statistics to base three. All table cell values, including row and column totals are randomly rounded which may result in slight disagreement between totals and individual items as shown in the tables.

Logical Consistency:


6. Distribution Information

Data Form:

The data can be provided as customised, printed GIS map outputs and/or tables at a range of levels.

Digital Format:

Available within WRCs GIS.


Provides accurate demographic information about people of the Waikato Region. It will be used in future reviews of the RPS, Regional Plan and State of the Environment Report. Demographic information will be essential in the development of community profiles of the people within specific catchment, ecological districts and coastal zones. It will also provide a basis from which to characterise communities that use and live near to important resources such as major rivers, within coastal hazard zones or in rural areas prone to serious erosion.

Data Set Availability:

As of 1 July 2007 Digital Boundary Data from Statistics New Zealand (including Meshblocks, Area Units and Political Boundaries) became freely available. This means this data can be used and shared freely as long as Statistics New Zealand are acknowledged as the source of the data and altered data is not on-supplied. In practice WRC will supply this data freely on request to all its contractors and partners for use in WRC projects and although WRC may now supply the data to any other third parties they should under normal conditions be directed to request the data directly from Statistics New Zealand, so Statistics may keep details of data dissemination.

Acknowledgement of source:

All printed maps, reports or other outputs which contain either census or political boundaries (regardless of how many) must contain the following message:

“Digital Boundary Data sourced from Statistics New Zealand”

7. Status Information

Data Status:

The 1996 Census is a snapshot in time. A census of population and dwellings is taken every five years. The next census will be taken in 2001 and the layer will be updated as soon as possible after the data has been received.

8. Further Metadata Information

Related Information:

Further information can be obtained from Statistics New Zealand

General Notes:

Previous Data Set ID 9010.

Document Links:

EW DOCS# 520029 -1998 Census of Population and Dwelling Data Dictionary

EW DOCS# 867081 - Census 2001 – Waikato Region Database – Individual Part 1 with UA id.

WWW Links:

Need More Help?

Email the Dataset Administrator.