Whakatane Mayor Tony Bonne has urged district residents to complete their household and personal 2018 Census forms on or before Tuesday March 6, and if they can't take part online, to ensure they obtain paper copies to complete and return.
He says the census provides important information that the council uses to forward-plan the services, amenities and facilities to cater for the community's needs in the future.
“So it's hugely helpful to get as complete a picture of the make-up of the district population as possible,” he says. “Some government service funding calculations – like healthcare, for example – are also population-based, so to ensure that we continue to receive adequate funding for those services, it's vital that the census provides accurate results.”
Tony says there has been some criticism of the census process, which for the first time is being conducted online.
“It's actually quite quick and easy to do, provided you have access to the internet via a mobile phone, tablet or laptop or desktop computer; and provided you have received a letter with your household access code. Anyone who hasn't yet received their access code can ring 0800 CENSUS (0800 236 787) and ask for their form to be posted to them,” he adds.
“Anyone who can't complete the census online can also ring and request a paper copy of their forms, provided they have their access code.
“It will be five years until the next census, so I'd encourage everyone to get involved and make sure they are represented in the district's census results.”
The Whakatane Library will be open from 5-7pm on Census day so that members of the public who do not have computer access will have an opportunity to complete their census forms online.
To complete census forms online, you will need the unique access code for your postal address, which should have been delivered by now to all urban households.