The next census 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 boundaries 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.