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Classification and coding process

Classification criteria

Usual residence

The criterion used to place a person into the classification for usual residence is the address information (street number, name, and type; suburb or rural locality; and city, town or district) as stated by a respondent who usually resides in New Zealand. For people who usually reside overseas, the criterion is the country stated by the respondent.

Usual residence indicator

The criterion used to place a person into the classification for usual residence indicator is the relationship between a respondent’s usual residence and their census night address. This classification has been developed specifically for census. It can be modified for other users if required.

Classification

Usual residence

The usual residence classification consists of a combination of classifications that are ordinarily stored independently of each other. There is a hierarchic relationship between the New Zealand geographic classifications of meshblock, area unit, territorial authority and regional council. For example, meshblocks aggregate to form area units, and area units aggregate to form both territorial authorities and regional councils. The categories of each of these ordinarily independent classifications sit alongside each other at the same level of the usual residence classification. The country classification also sits alongside the New Zealand geographic classifications in the same level of the usual residence classification.

Usual residence is therefore a flat classification. The standard codes are:

  • Meshblock codes (7 digits)
  • Area unit codes (6 digits) prefixed by ‘9’
  • Territorial authority codes (3 digits) prefixed by ‘9999’
  • Regional council codes (2 digits) prefixed by ‘99999’
  • Country codes (4 digits) prefixed by ‘999’
  • 9999944 Don't know
  • 9999955 Refused to answer
  • 9999977 Response unidentifiable
  • 9999988 Response outside scope
  • 9999996 No fixed abode
  • 9999997 Country not stated
  • 9999998 New Zealand not further defined
  • 9999999 Not stated

Leading ‘9’s are used to create seven digit codes. Codes are available for addresses for which insufficient information is provided to allocate a meshblock but enough information is provided for another area type (area unit, territorial authority or regional council) to be specified.

‘9999996 No fixed abode’ is a category for respondents who indicate that they have no usual residence.

'9999997 Country not stated' is a category for respondents who indicate that they usually reside overseas but do not specify which country.

‘9999998 New Zealand not further defined’ is a category for respondents who provided insufficient information for a meshblock, area unit, territorial authority or regional council to be allocated, and for non–respondents for whom there is no information to indicate they usually reside overseas.

The standard meshblock, area unit, territorial authority, and regional council classifications that are current at the commencement of the survey cycle should be used.

Usual residence indicator

The classification of usual residence indicator is a flat classification with four categories:

  1. Same as census night address
  2. Elsewhere in New Zealand
  3. Overseas
  4. No fixed abode

The category ‘2 Elsewhere in New Zealand’ includes responses that were coded to ‘New Zealand not further defined’ in the usual residence classification. ‘2 Elsewhere in New Zealand’ may therefore include cases where the respondent’s usual residence was in fact the same as their census night address but it has not been possible to determine this (for example, vague or non-response). ‘4 No fixed abode’ is a category for respondents who indicate that they have no usual residence.

The full classification for Usual Residence and Usual Residence Indicator is available in Download of classification.

Coding process

Usual residence

Responses to usual residence can be coded using one of two codefiles. A codefile is a comprehensive list of probable survey responses and the classification categories to which they are coded.

For addresses where the respondent usually resides in New Zealand, the codefile used contains street names and numbers, address aliases (an alternative name for an address, such as a building or institution name) and geographic features. This codefile relates street attributes to meshblocks. The street data (stored in the Geographic Frame) is continually updated from information received from Land Information New Zealand, the Electoral Enrolment Centre and local authorities. The address alias data is updated from directories such as the Cityscope, UBD and Wises publications.

If there is insufficient information to code an address to the meshblock level, the response should be coded to area unit level if possible. If there is insufficient information to do this, the response should be coded to territorial authority level if possible. If there is insufficient information to do this, the response should be coded to regional council level, if possible. If there is insufficient information to code an address to meshblock, area unit, territorial authority or regional council level then usual residence should be coded to ‘9999998 New Zealand not further defined’.

Respondents who have indicated that they have no usual residence should be coded to ‘9999996 No fixed abode’.

A non-respondent for whom there is no information to indicate that they usually reside overseas should be coded to ‘9999998 New Zealand not further defined’.

For addresses where the respondent usually resides overseas the country codefile is used to code responses. This contains, in addition to country titles, regions and provinces where appropriate.

Respondents who indicate that their usual residence is overseas but do not specify the name of the country should be coded to ‘9999997 Country not stated’.

Imputation

Imputation of usual residence is necessary in the Census of Population and Dwellings so that everyone is assigned to a specific meshblock. This allows electoral populations to be calculated on a usually resident basis. Any responses that were initially coded to a level higher than the meshblock will have a meshblock imputed for usual residence.

The usual residence meshblock of people with no fixed abode will be set to their census night meshblock. This will result in an inconsistency between the usual residence and usual residence indicator variables. The inconsistency must be retained so that the original status of the respondent is known.

Usual residence indicator

The usual residence indicator is derived from the relationship between usual residence and census night address.

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