Monday, 25 February 2013

Responding to the Census demand.

Guest post by Sam Pierson

Census demanders will shortly be knocking on your door demanding you respond. Here's one idea for a principled, gentlemanly and appropriate response.

1.  Write a letter to the Government Statistician in the next few days that goes something like this:-

        Geoff Bascand, Government Statistician
        PO Box 2922
        Wellington 6140

        Dear Sir,
        I wish to let you know in advance that I will not be filling out the census forms I have received.  I
        understand that this is against the law.

        I will expect to be prosecuted as per the law.

        Yours sincerely,
        [Name, Address, Sex, Age]

2.  When the collector comes, return the blank forms explaining that you have not filled them out, that you have let Mr Bascand know. and that you expect to be prosecuted.  Be polite.  Be courteous. Be brief.

3.  Within a month or so following the census, write to Mr Bascand referring to your original letter, and asking when you can expect prosecution proceedings to commence.

4.  If you get a fine in the mail, seek to go to court.

5.  In court, make a clear and concise statement explaining why you disagree with the law in principle. Do not try to get out of it. Openly accept that under the law you should be prosecuted for your offence and agree you have broken the law.

6.  If you hear nothing at all, go to the Statistics Department office in person & turn yourself in to Mr Bascand.

In all dealings be the model of polite & cheerful.  This is important.  Don't try to convert or convince anybody over the rightness of your cause.  Don't grandstand or seek attention.  Other than in court, and even then, be of few words.  The line is: 'I did not fill out my census form and I expect the Department to do its job, under law, and prosecute me.'

Within government & popular opinion, the census is seen as a minor imposition for the greater good of gathering the data to make 'better' public policy decisions in a 'modern' nation-state.  The aim of this response is to register dignified, civilised disagreement to all that: disagreement to the imposition & disagreement to the idea that the data collected for the state planners is good for us & our fellow countryfolk.  (See Doc McGrath's post here for more, and for his alternative response.)

As we also believe in the rule of law, we believe laws that are made should be followed.  Hence the request that the department do its lawful job & prosecute.

You'll probably need be prepared to spend $500, maybe some more—hard to tell.  We'll have a pub meetup a little while after the census to exchange stories & progress for those interested.  This is an individual by individual response, but no one will get left behind.

Do it with low to no expectations, in a breezy spirit. 

Good luck.  

UPDATE: And in Northland,

Party rebels over 'intrusive' Census
Libertarianz Northland coordinator Helen Hughes will be holding a party on Census day - March 5 - to "responsibly" destroy her form with others opposed to the information gathering exercise.
Ms Hughes admits it's exhorting people to take part in a mass form of civil disobedience, but said many didn't like the intrusive nature of the Census and don't trust the Government.
"Nobody should destroy their [census] forms unless they know what they are protesting against. Yes, it's urging people to break the law, but when the law is wrong then protest is absolutely necessary."


  1. And a link to another of your nutters.

  2. Protesting against NZ On Air cost me about $1500 (not including time and other costs); and can't say that standing for a cause did much good at all ~ waste of effort and money

  3. At least in the US they have the second amendment & castle doctrine to deal with government communism in the only language it understands!

  4. Is it is my understanding that there are no lawyers in the house?

    No offense but if Nik got fined I believe he just used an incorrect legal defense (and burning the Census form enflames totalitarian dictatorships).
    The latest strategy sounds a bit like like S&M to me.
    Know the loopholes, its better than a strategy of being (politely) aggressive towards the govt.
    Good luck I hope you get the numbers for it.

  5. I like to know what happens if you don't answer the door? The guy just knocked and I could not be bothered to answer the door.

  6. Umm.... I do have a question here.

    I'm as right-wing as they come, but how is it possible for a government to plan if it doesn't have reasonably accurate census data?

    I would also make the point that census data can be useful for the *public* too - not just the government.
    A good example - I believe that Islam is bad, so I will be very interested to find out the number of Muslims now living in the country (and where they are most concentrated).

    Question two - is "government planning" necessary? (I tend to believe that at least *some* level of planning is needed, but I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise...).

  7. Dear Mr rightwing xenophobe did you not know that all the data the govt needs to make plans it already has?
    It has the numbers (ie it has the unemployment figures it knows about the massive buy up of the nation by china).
    Or do you think it used the figures it had in 2006 to do some planning for medical funding and aged care?
    On planet earth this " planning" does not even exist (at least for this nations people's needs).
    Why do you support human rights violations and spread xenophobia(hate)?

  8. data can be useful for the *public* too

    There is no such thing a society [aka the public].

    is "government planning" necessary?

    no. it is always unmitigated evil.

    Why do you support human rights violations

    There is no such thing as "human rights". There is private property, and rights to that property.

  9. Just do what I do and in every question answer where the information is already collected and request they refer to it. I've yet to work out why we actually need a census when IRD, Transit, MSD, etc. already have far more accurate data. They know the Census data is wrong.

    Stats just want the data to sell to the private sector, anyway.

  10. There is a right, you are just referring to persons as chattels/property of the Crown( Corporation of the Bank of england).
    There is such a thing as a right of a human being.

    Michael is right they want to sell the personal data.

  11. I can't be a hypocrite. The information that is gathered is very useful. Not for government planning but showing how government intervention has detrimental effects on family formation, state dependence, incomes, etc. But good luck.

    (The other survey sources for these sorts of information inter-Census are even more invasive. They tie up a lot of personal time and are compulsory. I was recruited to the HLFS for 2 years. Tiresome. And I'd question the quality of information it gathers given the quality of my three- monthly telephone interview responses.)

  12. Dear anonymous - you ask me "Why do you support human rights violations and spread xenophobia(hate)?"

    I do #NOT# support human rights violations! That is exactly my point! Islam violates human rights *every second of the day* around the world!

    How much do you know about Islam, anonymous? *Nothing*. I would say, given that you seem to think that it is a "paragon of virtue".

    Islam is EVIL and that is why I oppose it.

    No. A phobia is an "irrational fear of something". There is NOTHING "irrational" about fearing (and disliking) Islam.

    Here, anonymous - do yourself a favour and LEARN about Islam from those who have "been there, done that" -

    Quote - "But we committed the ultimate sin of thinking and questioned the belief that was imposed on us and we came to realize that far from being a religion of truth, Islam is a hoax, it is hallucination of a sick mind and nothing but lies and deceits."

    There. See? They say exactly what I am saying. Islam is evil.

  13. Btw, anonymous - if, by "human rights violations" you meant the census (rather than Islam) - I would say "pick your fights wisely".
    If Islam takes over here, you'll have a darned sight *more* to worry about than a census.....


  14. @Peter - thanks for doing so. You did your best. It has gone.

    @thor24 - Ask yourself what questions 14,15,16,17,18,19,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,33-46 have to do with planning?

    @Lindsay - Heh. Thanks.

    Interesting to note that there is an opt out clause on question 25; for women only. Why's that?

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  16. Thor42 your off topic madness, fear and hate regarding Muslims is alarming.
    Your crude fear mongering aside, the only people yet supporting this Census are people who don't have even one reason for supporting it.
    Reason for the Census lacking the paid shrills are trying to generate a fear of other people.
    Thor go and try to think up one reason why people(not bank of england chattels)should have their privacy violated.

    Here's a thought- some people think of their personal info as personal property (as it is in the case of intellectual property). We can all see who has taken over here in NZ (and its not Islam).

  17. "Interesting to note that there is an opt out clause on question 25; for women only. Why's that?"

    It may be that a woman gave birth to a child that was adopted out and it's a private matter to her? Certainly happened in the baby boom generation.

    A caller to Michael Laws, a male, objected to not being asked how many children he was a biological father to, given question 25. So much so he was refusing to complete the census.

  18. I know this is an OT comment, but are there any libertarian/ancap groups or similar meetings in the Tauranga, BOP area? Just got back from Korea (incredibly statist, but had internet)and all the statists here are driving me up the wall (my parents mostly!) I have searched online, but haven't found anything as yet. Any suggestions?
    Again, sorry for OT but didn't know where else to go...

    Any pointers or corrections would be more than welcome.

    As to the census, I will not fill it out.


  19. The whole census protest thing strikes me as a little chickenhawkish. If you want to refuse to pay your taxes, on the other hand, I might be more impressed.

  20. @Blair: WTF is a chickenhawk in this context?

    Anyway, no one is choosing a form of protest to impress you.

    Protesting the census is a principled protest against govt intrusion that can be made without being run over by a prosecutorial road train, that comes with a day in court in which to make your statement of principle.

    Refusing to pay your taxes on the other hand come with the sort of sacrifice only the likes of Irwin Schiff is prepared to make, a sacrifice of almost your whole adult life, and with no likelihood whatsoever of effecting change because of it.

  21. If you can't be arssed no doing the tax but want to make a goose of yourself pretending that not doing the census is worth a damn go ahead and pretend you are being principled. You aint being principled doing that my man. All you are doing is pretending. Posing. Taking an intellectual wank in public and spoofing all over your own trouser leg. You ar only doing the census in because you reckon it'll only cost a little penalty. If it was the punishment for not doing the census was 5 years in the can and many strokes of the Singapore jail cane, then, all yous posers would fill it in right away. There would be noe pretending of "principled" because there is no principle here. You want principle, grow some.

    Amit Cim

  22. Bless, poor wee Randroids. Days like this must be terrible upsetting, watching the vast majority of people either quietly filling their forms in, or actually excited to be doing so.

    I know self awareness isn't your strong suit, but surely it must bring home to you to some degree the futility of your little religious cult.

    Of all the ludicrously incoherent contradiction of your beliefs, what to do with people who simply don't by your first principles and never will is the most basic and one I've never seen any member of your cult be able to give a decent answer..


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