Saturday, February 26, 2011

Out For The Count there's this bloody shite earthquake in Christchurch, right?
And...the five-yearly census (the official count of people in NZ) is about a week away, yeup?
So...someone in the halls of power very wisely decided this wasn't exactly the best time to go asking kiwis for info, when we're all a tad shellshocked. Thus it was announced: no 2011 census...excellent to this point.
[This'll be only the third time the census has been cancelled: first in 1931 due to the depression, second in 1941 during WWII.]
But wait! In steps the PC Brigade saying that, in order to stop the census, you gotta have a law change! It's called "covering one's arse"!
Y'see, under the Statistics Act 1975, the census must be held sometime this year. That basic human decency has put the brakes on it, is irrelevant. Because the Act requires a census every five years, it will need to be amended asap, to ensure Statistics NZ is not in breach of the Act! Oh no, we can't have that, can we! Jeez, as if someone's gonna sue 'em! So it's getting legal advice from Crown Law "on the most appropriate legislative or regulatory process" to make this required change. As well as the law change, the Governor-General needs to revoke the date of the census!
Surely common sense would dictate a far easier solution to all this legal two-stepping. What's wrong with Parliament just saying: "Ok, guys, we're all in the shit here. We're gonna move the census to March 8th next year...and then get back in line with the following one in 2016. Sweet? Great. Now, next on the agenda is..."
See? Pretty easy. Pretty straightforward. We all know where we stand. No pissing around with legal beagles, amendments to Acts, revoking of dates etc etc.
Oh yea, and because the census costs about $90-million, instead of dumping all the 2011 forms, just store them until next year! The fact that the date will be one year off won't upset the applecart...and at a time when the country has an earthquake-blitzed major city to sort out, $90-mill is a damn good saving!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh yes, but of course that's all too easy, eh.
PS: 27 May 2011 - New census date announced for March 2013.

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