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New Zealand Income Survey Population Rebase: June quarters 1997 to 2008 (including the introduction of Māori benchmarks)

Background on the revised series

Statistical weights are used together with the New Zealand Income Survey (NZIS) sample data to calculate estimates that reflect the whole population. The weights are revised periodically, following each population census. This process is called a rebase. Typically, historical NZIS results are revised back to the previous census. However, for this rebase, the NZIS has introduced Māori benchmarks to the revised weights and, due to this, all historical NZIS results have been revised back to the June 1997 quarter, the start of the series. These benchmarks are designed to improve the quality and time series consistency of income estimates for the Māori ethnic group.

Movements from the June 1997 quarter to the June 2000 quarter are due to the introduction of Māori benchmarks in the weights. Movements from the June 2001 quarter are due to both the introduction of Māori benchmarks and revisions to population estimates.

This rebase has created minor changes to all estimates produced by the NZIS, most are less than 0.5 percent. The series most affected by the introduction of the Māori benchmarks are those for the Māori ethnic group, and those for people receiving government transfers. The table below shows the changes in key measures created by the updating of population weights and the introduction of Māori benchmarks, for the main income indicators for the June 2008 quarter.

Changes in key measures

Income measures Originally published June 2008 quarter  Revised June 2008 quarter  Percentage change
Median weekly income from all sources for all people  $537  $536  -0.2%
Average weekly income from all sources for all people  $684  $682  -0.3%
Median weekly income from government transfers for those receiving income from government transfers  $253  $255  0.7%
Average weekly income from government transfers for those receiving income from government transfers  $249  $250  0.5%
Median hourly earnings for those earning income from wage and salary jobs  $18.75  $18.70  -0.3%
Average hourly earnings for those earning income from wage and salary jobs  $22.35  $22.27  -0.3%

The revisions resulted in very little difference in the key series estimates over time, as shown in the graph below.

 Graph, median weekly income from all sources for all people, June quarter, 1997–2008.

Updated Tablebuilder tables for 1998 to 2008 are now available.

The updated Hot Off the Press tables for the entire time series are available on request.

For technical information about the rebase, consult the technical notes in the Household Labour Force Survey Population Rebase December 2008.

Future releases

The New Zealand Income Survey: June 2009 quarter will be released on 8 October 2009 using the updated population estimates generated by this rebase.

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