Using Statistics NZ Data

Statistics New Zealand is the government department charged with collecting data on New Zealand and New Zealanders. They handle the national census every five years, and they track information on everything from business finance to commuter patterns to household internet access to crime. They hold massive amounts of data on people, culture, business, society… you name it, they probably have data on it. They are a researcher’s dream.

For example, after a quick browse on the Statistics New Zealand website, I found out that:

  • the greenhouse gas intensity of the NZ economy has decreased by 36% since 1990
  • men are more likely than women to report that they have “too much free time” (11.7% of men vs 9.7% of women)
  • the least common birthday in New Zealand is Christmas Day
  • the age group least likely to smoke tobacco is the over-75s (only 4.5% of whom smoke)
  • 6.5% of Auckland dwellings were unoccupied as of the 2013 census

The website is a data playground. You can use data visualisation tools to interact with the information; you can use maps to view data by region; and you can even download massive datasets if you want to do your own in-depth analysis.

If you would like some help using Statistics New Zealand data, you can contact your Liaison Librarian or Ann Chen, AUT Library’s Research Support Coordinator (achen@aut.ac.nz). The Library has also published this handy guide to help you find New Zealand statistics sources.

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About Anaise Irvine

Dr Anaise Irvine is the Editor of Thesislink. She has a research background in science and narrative. Her PhD research analysed how contemporary films and novels represent genetic engineering as a social justice issue. She has previously researched fictional representations of evolution and quantum mechanics. She has taught such diverse texts as Blade Runner and Bridget Jones’s Diary, and her most obscure skill is being able to turn novels into phylogenetic trees!

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