Census day is here and it is time to stand up and be counted.

The Census is crucial to New Zealand so authorities are asking kiwi’s to watch out for scam websites and
fake social media accounts claiming to represent the official census.

Computer Emergency Response Team New Zealand (CERT NZ) director Rob Pope said they were aware
scammers target large events, seeing an opportunity to harvest information and sometimes even defraud
people out of money.

With awareness the fakes can be avoided, he said.

“The Census is vitally important to the country, and it’s sad that some would try to disrupt it for criminal

“So just take a moment to check the information you’re getting is from an official source.’’

Stats NZ’s deputy government statistician and deputy chief executive Census and Collection Operations
Simon Mason, said the official website and social media accounts are the only communication channels Stats
NZ will use.

“You will not receive any unsolicited text messages or private messages on social media from the Census
team,” Mr Mason said.

People should remain vigilant after Census Day.

‘‘Stats NZ will follow up with people and households who did not complete their census forms on time,
through to April. There is also an extension to June for people in communities affected by Cyclone Gabrielle
and recent weather events.’’

Households throughout the country received a second letter from Census New Zealand last week with a new
code to access the online form.

According to Census New Zealand this was part of the planned process for the 2023 Census following
feedback from a field test in 2022.

Mr Mason said that sending two letters was part of an effort for Stats NZ to be more helpful and pro-active following criticism of the handling of the 2018 census.

CERT NZ was established by the government in 2016 to increase cyber security in New Zealand by
supporting businesses, organisations and individuals who are affected (or may be affected) by cyber security