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Technical information and limitations of estimates

Linked Employer-Employee Data (LEED)

Limitations of LEED Māori authority estimates

Linked Employer-Employee Data (LEED) Māori authority estimates have the following limitations.

  • Filled jobs are the number of jobs on the 15th of the middle month of the reference quarter, where the job relates to a person 15 years of age or over.
  • Businesses currently identified as a Māori authority are assumed to have always been a Māori authority.
  • Information below ‘total all industry’ level results in data not being published for a number of industries, due to confidentiality.
  • Information below ‘total all region’ level results in many regions in the South Island not being published, due to confidentiality. This paper combines the South Island regions into one combined South Island group.

Annual Enterprise Survey (AES)

Technical notes about the AES

The Annual Enterprise Survey (AES) is New Zealand's most comprehensive source of financial statistics. It provides annual financial performance and financial position information about industry groups operating within New Zealand. The AES is estimated to cover approximately 90 percent of New Zealand's gross domestic product (GDP).

Data used in the AES is collected from a number of sources, including:

  • a sample survey of business financial data
  • business financial data from Inland Revenue
  • not-for-profit data from the Charities Commission
  • central government data from the Treasury's Crown Financial Information System
  • local government data from Statistics NZ's Local Authority Statistics

The first three sources are the main sources of Māori authority information.

The following ANZSIC06 (Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 2006) industries are excluded from the Annual Enterprise Survey on pragmatic grounds:

  • residential property operators (L671100)
  • foreign government representation (O755200)
  • religious services (S954000)
  • private households employing staff and undifferentiated goods- and service-producing activities of households for own use (S960100-300).

Limitations of current AES Māori authority estimates 

  • AES quality assurance and sample selection occurs at the survey design level (ie New Zealand Standard Industrial Output Classification level four) above the level of Māori authority identification. 
  • AES weights and imputation are applied at the survey design level. To represent the full population of Māori authorities more accurately would require specially designed weighting and imputation methodology. 
  • Confidentiality constraints restrict some industries from being published below a ‘total Māori authority’ level (eg by industry).

Annual Enterprise Survey (AES) future improvements for Māori authority estimates

In AES 2013:

  • the sample was increased for extra coverage of Māori authority units
  • a new methodology was developed to account for Māori units not captured in the AES
  • a greater use of administrative data was targeted for Māori authorities business returns (eg IR10s).

The main goal of this work is to try to release Māori authority financial estimates for subgroups (eg by industry) as well as improving the quality of our current estimates. We aim to release this information in 2015.

Business Operations Survey (BOS)

Limitations of BOS Māori estimates

The Business Operations Survey is a sample survey that collects information on business practices, including tourism, employment characteristics, and business performance indicators. It is designed to produce national estimates at an industry and employee size level, and has an annual sample of around 8,000 commercial businesses, all with six employees or more. Not-for-profit organisations, and businesses with five employees or fewer, are outside the scope of this survey.

These population criteria contribute to the fact that there are few businesses related to Māori authorities in the BOS population. The results for Māori authority businesses published from BOS data are not weighted to represent the underlying population.
Counts from the survey were randomly rounded to base 3 to protect confidentiality, so actual figures may differ from those stated. The total New Zealand figures have been weighted to represent national averages.

Research and Development Survey

Technical notes about the R&D Survey

The Research and Development (R&D) Survey provides information on R&D in New Zealand, including level of R&D activity, employment, and expenditure by private sector enterprises, government departments, government-owned trading entities, and universities. The survey targets all economically significant enterprises that have been pre-identified as performing or funding R&D activities in New Zealand. This has a small overlap with identified Māori authorities. Due to the small number of businesses in this group, treat results with additional caution.

Overseas Merchandise Trade

Technical notes about the Overseas Merchandise Trade and limitations of Māori estimates

Data is obtained from export and import entry documents lodged with the New Zealand Customs Service (NZCS). The data is processed and passed to Statistics NZ for further editing and compilation. See Overseas Merchandise Trade: March 2014 – data quality for further information.

Māori authority statistics were compiled using NZCS client numbers matched from Enterprise Numbers via Inland Revenue numbers. Confidentially has been applied at the Group Top Enterprise level, which is the collection of related enterprises. Any codes missing from these matches will reduce the level of coverage in these statistics.

Balance of payments statistics

Understanding the level of overseas investment undertaken by Māori authorities is a key area of interest. In ANZ's Te tirohanga whānui report on Māori businesses (2014), 36 percent of respondents aspired to operate internationally.

To derive some estimates of overseas investment using our existing data collections, we identified Māori authorities who already complete the Quarterly International Investment Survey (QIIS). This survey measures 95 percent of New Zealand's international financial asset and liability balance sheet positions. In 2014, we also added a small number of new respondents to the Annual International Investment Survey (AIIS), which normally captures the remaining 5 percent of the balance sheet.

At the very least, we hope to be able to provide some statistics on the total level of international assets and liabilities that Māori authorities have. Noting that the QIIS and AIIS also provide a number of useful indicators, including the instrument of investment (eg loans, deposits, equity), the currency used, and which country the investment is taking place with.

For this report, we have been unable to provide any statistics on international investment using these surveys. While there is potential for these collections to be used in the future, there are currently several limitations:

  • response rates for those entities added to the AIIS this year were low. This included responses indicating this survey was not applicable to their business
  • confidentiality of the information, due to the significance of certain respondents in the scope of the current Māori authority definition
  • difficulties in obtaining investment information specific to the businesses we identify as Māori authorities.

The third limitation arises because the QIIS and AIIS collect consolidated account information. This is ideal if a Group Top Enterprise has been identified as the Māori authority. However, if the enterprise we are interested in is at a lower level of the business group, these surveys do not separately report the investment activities of these businesses. This makes it very difficult for us to be able to derive an estimate for international investment using these surveys.

There may still be possibilities for using the QIIS and AIIS as the definition of a Māori business develops. This would particularly help with the issue of confidentiality, as there would be many more enterprises included in the sample.


Currently the Agricultural Production Survey (APS) uses the Federation of Māori Authorities (FOMA) as a business frame from which to select samples. This differs from the Māori Business Indicator (MBI) in Statistics NZ’s Business Register, used to identify Māori authorities for this report.

There are a few distinct differences between the two selection methods. The largest difference between the two is that FOMA is self-selecting, and has a cost associated with affiliation. The method used to identify Māori authorities for Tatauranga Umanga Māori does not have either limitation (see Section B for more information).

While there are common units between these sources, the entire frames are different. Tatauranga Umanga Māori contains nearly three times as many agricultural geographic units than FOMA. Given the small sizes of the FOMA population relative to the total APS population, it is not possible to infer anything about Māori agricultural production – but these units are representative of themselves.

For these reasons we did not include the FOMA tables in this report, but you can find them in the Agricultural Production Statistics: June 2013 (final) information release.

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