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The 10th biennial CensusAtSchool launches next month

CensusAtSchool New Zealand – TataurangaKiTeKura Aotearoa celebrates the launch of their tenth biennial survey next month to once again comprehensively chart children’s views of their own lives.

From May 10, the voice of Kiwi students will be heard on issues as wide-ranging as climate change, the amount of time they spend on digital devices, and their own attitudes to when they think it should be legal to drive, vote, buy alcohol, and vape.

New to the survey in 2021 is a question that explores where young people get their news from and how they felt about lockdown learning.

The survey now includes improved bi-lingual support with the ability to toggle between English and te reo Māori.

Another new feature includes an audio option for the English questionnaire to support students with reading difficulties.

CensusAtSchool New Zealand – TataurangaKiTeKura Aotearoa, is a non-profit, online educational project that aims to bring statistics to life in both English and Māori-medium classrooms. Supervised by teachers, students from Years 3-13 anonymously answer 34 questions in English or te reo Māori, and later explore the results in class. CensusAtSchool runs every two years, and in 2019, more than 32,000 students took part, representing approximately 500 schools and 1,000 teachers.

You can preview the questions here. See the registered schools.

CensusAtSchool is a collaborative project involving teachers, the University of Auckland’s Department of Statistics, Stats NZ, and the Ministry of Education.

It is part of an international effort to boost statistical capability among young people and is carried out in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the US, Japan, and South Africa. The countries share some questions so comparisons can be made.

In New Zealand, CensusAtSchool is co-directed by Prof Chris Wild of the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland and Rachel Cunliffe, a former lecturer in the department who owns web design studio cre8d design and is a commentator on youth culture and online communications. She is the principal media spokesperson for CensusAtSchool and can be contacted at or phone 027 3833 746. A high-quality, copyright-free photo of Rachel is available for download here.

Key dates:

  • May 10: CensusAtSchool survey goes live and schools start taking part.
  • May 24*: Interesting initial statistics from the survey data released to media.
  • May 31*: Second release of statistics from the survey data released to media.

* Date dependent on response rate