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Northern group first visited by census teams

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Nov. 23, 2011) – The national census, which gives a five yearly snapshot of people and households in the Cook Islands, is now underway in the northern group islands.

Police patrol boat Te Kukupa set off on Monday with a census team and questionnaires for each of the northern islands communities.

The vessel was due to stop first at Palmerston yesterday, then travel on to Nassau and Pukapuka tomorrow, Manihiki on Saturday, Rakahanga next Monday, and Penrhyn for next Wednesday.

Enumerators on the islands will work with the team to distribute, complete and collect the census forms.

Over the next two weeks enumerators will also begin visiting homes on Rarotonga to deliver and explain the census forms that must be filled out by the evening of Thursday, December 1.

A dwelling questionnaire one for every household must be completed, as well as personal questionnaires for each man, woman and child living in a dwelling.

Prime Minister Henry Puna says the census is one of the most important events carried out in the Cook Islands, and the only practical way of getting information on how many people there are in the country, what they do and how they live.

The census assists in planning vital services such as health, education, housing, transport and infrastructure for the country. It also provides information that tells us how our society has changed over time by giving information on the ethnicity, employment, economic activities and income levels of our entire population, Puna says.

Responses to census questions about agriculture, fishing and pearl farming activities will determine those households to also be surveyed for the 2011 census of agriculture and fisheries.

All information collected for the census remains confidential, with provisional results expected in late December and more detailed data available at the end of next year.

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