2014 elections will be somewhat chaotic

May 28th, 2011 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

NZPA report:

The next will be held in March 2013.

The Government and Statistics NZ had considered holding the census in March 2012, but agreed the time period would be too short to ensure accurate planning.

Mr Williamson said there were benefits in holding the census in 2013, including being able to revise the electoral and holding a Maori electoral option ahead of a 2014 general election.

It is a pity they couldn’t do it in 2012.

By having the census in March 2013, it means the boundary process won’t start until late 2013. They have to wait for the Maori option to be run first. If the boundary process starts late 2013, it means we won’t have final boundaries until the 1st half of 2014.

The boundary changes in 2014 could be quite significant.  Parties will probably not want to select candidates until the new boundaries are known. So it will mean electorate candidate selections will be delayed until 2014 also and will have to be rushed through in just a few months.

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8 Responses to “2014 elections will be somewhat chaotic”

  1. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    Are they actually going to pass a law to allow them to do this?

    Because the Statistics Act seems pretty clear that a census must be held this year.

    Also, on a reasonable reading of the Electoral Act, there won’t be a Maori option after the 2013 census. A Maori option may only take place in a year in which a “quinquennial census” is held. The 2013 census will be a census, but I don’t see how it can count as a quinquennial one without a law change.

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  2. tvb (4,199 comments) says:

    Doing a 100% census is simply archaic. Have they not heard of statistics. The questions they ask are utterly stupid and could be easily covered by a well designed sample of say 1000 unlucky people in each electorate. The cost reduction would be substantial. Or they could do a 100% census every 10 years with a sample taken in the intervening 5 years. I believe in the US they do one every 10 years.

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  3. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    Or they could do a 100% census every 10 years with a sample taken in the intervening 5 years. I believe in the US they do one every 10 years.

    Statistics NZ do you sampling in non-census years.

    Australia, Canada and Ireland all have 5 yearly censuses, the UK has 10. The requirement for the US Census to be every 10 years was set in 1787.

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  4. s.russell (1,559 comments) says:

    I can’t see that the necessary law changes would be a problem and will probably pass unanimously.
    But the question of whether we really need to have a census every 10 years is a fair one. A cost-benefit analysis would be a good idea.
    Re the election, from memory it takes an amazingly long time to do all the counting, and the Maori electoral option takes a lot of time too. The boundary-setting process can’t happen until it has, and that will be time-consuming too with all the necessary public consultation. I suspect boundaries will not be promulgated til well after mid-2014. Despite that, I expect parties will cope just fine. I think selections taking place a year before the election is too soon anyway.

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  5. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    It won’t worry me when they hold them. I will throw the papers in the fire and tell the collector I have posted them as I have done for the last 4 (except for the last one when no one even turned up to deliver any).

    The joys of rural life. You can fuck up the bureaucrats without even trying too hard. :)

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  6. s.russell (1,559 comments) says:

    So Johnboy, you take pleasure in contributing to Government waste?
    Whether the cost (to both Govt and individuals) of gathering census data is worth the benefit is open to question.
    But if the data gathered is then inaccurate, it degrades what value is gained.

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  7. stuarts-burgers (99 comments) says:

    I understand the relationship between the census and boundary changes, but is there any thing that says we to do a boundary change for 2014 based upon the most up to date census. We could use the existing boundaries in 2014.

    Even if the Census gets back on track with a census in 2016 we again strike the problem of the short turn around or do you think that we will be seeing the Census in 3 and 8 years from now on in stead of 1 and 6 years

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  8. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    As far as I am concerned the census is an unwanted intrusion on personal privacy s.r. and as such I see no reason why I should make any attempt to comply with the requirement to complete it.

    In fact I am happy to go out of my way not to complete it and if I have to then complete it in as erroneous fashion as possible.

    As far as I am concerned if Key want’s to save money in the P.S. he can start with closing the statistics department.

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