Joint initiative to release 2018 iwi data estimates

The release of the 2018 iwi affiliation estimated counts is a joint initiative of the Data Iwi Leaders Group (Data ILG), a subgroup of the National Iwi Leaders Forum, and Stats NZ to address the gaps in iwi affiliation data in the 2018 Census.

In April 2019, Stats NZ announced official statistical counts of iwi from the 2018 Census would not be published due to missing iwi affiliation data and a lack of alternative government data sources to fill gaps in the data.

Under the Mana Ōrite Relationship Agreement, Stats NZ and technicians of the Data ILG recognise the disproportionate effects of the 2018 Census on iwi and have worked together to explore options and develop appropriate mitigations to address the gaps.

“Delivering for and with Māori, iwi, and hapū is one of our organisation’s four strategic priorities,” said Rhonda Paku, Kaihautū – Director, Te Tohu Rautaki Angitū Māori, Stats NZ.

“We are working with iwi-Māori to progress the Mana Ōrite work programme and we have increased our capacity, capability, and focus to prioritise this work.”

“Positive outcomes for Māori benefit everyone. Data is a taonga and as iwi reclaim their position as designers – as well as users – of data, we will see iwi, hapū, and whānau thrive,” said Professor Tahu Kukutai, Technician – Data ILG.

“The 2018 iwi affiliation estimated counts provide a starting point for ongoing development of datasets made by iwi for iwi.”

The 2018 iwi affiliation estimated counts provide estimates of iwi population counts and characteristics for people identified as being of Māori descent in the 2018 Census. They include, for the first time, information for 32 iwi added to Stats NZ’s iwi classification in 2017.

The work completed has reduced the impact of the missing data, but there are limitations to how the estimates can be used. Both Stats NZ and Data ILG are supporting iwi-Māori in how to best understand and utilise the data.

“While not official census counts, for most purposes the 2018 iwi estimates provide a more relevant and up-to-date picture of iwi than continued use of 2013 Census data,” said Ms Paku.

“The Data ILG, with its understanding of and connections to iwi populations, has played a critical role in the evaluation and analysis of the 2018 Census iwi data, and use of appropriate methods to improve the quality of the data to make these estimates possible.”

“We recognise there are shortcomings with this data and how it can be used,” said Professor Kukutai.

“However, the progress being made in the Māori data space is significant. With ongoing mahi and kōrero, we will see better outcomes for whānau in the future.”

A significant work programme is underway to support improved response rates for Māori in the 2023 Census and deliver quality data for iwi-Māori. Programme initiatives include a larger community engagement team to work with Māori communities, employing more local people to assist with the collection of data at census time, and a range of activities to support access to and understanding of census.

Stats NZ also received Budget funding this year for a pilot to partner with iwi in two locations to provide training, support community engagement, and enable iwi-led collection of census data in 2023. This initiative aims to improve Māori response rates, and help Māori build their capacity and capability to collect and analyse data.

The 2018 iwi affiliation estimated counts are now jointly available on Te Whata and the Stats NZ website at Iwi affiliation (estimated counts): 2018.

Te Whata is a data platform tailored specifically by iwi for iwi. It allows easy access to iwi data and a platform in which iwi can store and analyse their own data. Currently, this platform contains Stats NZ and Ministry of Education data.

/Stats NZ Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.