2013 Census risks under-reporting number of disabled people

Saturday 2 March 2013, 1:27PM
By CCS Disability Action

One of New Zealand’s leading disability service and advocacy organisations is calling on disabled people to take part in this month’s Census on-line amid concerns the number of disabled people may be under-reported.

In the 2006 census, one in five people were recorded as having a disability, however CCS Disability Action believes the number may in fact be much higher.

CCS Disability Action Policy and Information Leader Jonathan Tautari said historically, disabled people have been undercounted in New Zealand’s Census.

“While the reasons are complex, the online option will reduce some of the barriers experienced by disabled people when filling out paper forms. We are encouraging disabled people to participate.

“Good decisions, whether they are made by local or central government, require accurate data. To be a part of the story of New Zealand, it is critical that disabled people have the means to provide data that is relevant, accessible, and trustworthy. In order to count, we need to be counted.”

Census data is important and is used in the implementation of the New Zealand Disability Strategy, to research the lives of disabled people and for town planning.