A national population register

Stuff reports:

The national could be scrapped and replaced with an “administrative ” that wouldn’t require everyone to fill out forms, under a plan being considered by Statistics New Zealand.

But civil libertarians should put the champagne on ice.

Statistics NZ said the switch would require a new compulsory “national population register” that would record where everyone lived and which could link to their tax and health records.

Additional socio-economic data normally gathered during the five-yearly census would be obtained from public databases and by a smaller survey that might cover about 5 per cent of the population. …

“Typically a national population register provides the essential population base and is linked to an address register, to birth and death registers, and to other administrative sources such as tax, health and education data.”

Kevin McCormack, secretary of the Council for Civil Liberties, said the lobby group would consider it important the register was used only for statistical purposes and that linked data did not identify individuals. “Otherwise, it is another form of creeping ‘Big Brother’.”

I find it amazing we don’t have this already. At any point in time we don’t have an accurate list of all NZ citizens, all NZ residents etc. The birth and death records are not linked to the immigration records. A register of residents and citizens would be very useful for electoral enrolment verification, as well as statistical purposes.

There are potential privacy issues, but I don’t see such a database as meaning the Government has any additional data on you – just that it is linked together, so that one can statistically analyse it.

Comments (16)

Login to comment or vote