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The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840. The first census in New Zealand was carried out in 1851. In that year there were two provinces, New Ulster (the Auckland area) and New Munster (the rest of New Zealand). For the next census, in 1854, there were six provinces. Each province had its own government and carried out its own census, at different times. It is difficult to get accurate information about the whole country from those censuses. In 1877 provincial governments were abolished and one parliament, in Wellington, governed the whole country. This led to the first five-yearly census of the whole country in 1881. There were two occasions when no census was held. In 1931 the census was abandoned because the country was going through the Depression and the government had reduced its number of public servants. In 1941 when so many people in New Zealand were involved in World War II, the census was postponed until the end of the war. The 1946 Census was moved to September 1945. It was not until 1951 that Māori were given the same census questionnaire as the rest of the population. Then in 1996 the option of completing the form in Māori or English was introduced. Since 2006, New Zealanders have had the option of completing census forms over the Internet (both the individual and dwelling forms, in English, Māori, or a combination of Māori and English). The 2013 Census will be held on Tuesday, 5 March 2013. Do the ordering activity on the next page and then answer these questions.
1. Why do you think census day was changed from a Sunday to a Tuesday?
2. Why do you think they made the decision to cancel the census during the depression and the war?
3. Why is the census held in March?
Using the online interactive timeline, put the year each event happened next to the events below to show the correct order. Add one interesting fact about that event in the right hand box.
The thirty-first census
The first Māori census
The census in 2013.
There is a census every five years from this date. The census information can be completed on the internet for the first time. Blue Books are used to gather statistics on population. Māori are included in the general census instead of having a separate census. The 2011 census is cancelled. There is a census for all European settlers.