Statistics New Zealand’s treatment of census workers heavily questioned

A census worker has accused the recruitment agency working with Statistics New Zealand of unfair treatment.



Madison Recruitment have been hired to manage temporary workers in the build-up for 2018’s national census.

Maurice Kane, however, has accused them of “zero hour-like” conditions – and said they think they have “workers they can turn off and turn on”.

The 53-year-old Kane started work earlier this month, but was later told to return home due to heavy rain, accoring to Radio NZ.

“I said I’ve only been out an hour. If I’m going home, do I get paid for the remaining five hours? And I got told no,” said Kane.

He complained to Statistics New Zealand and Madison Recruitment, with health and safety requirements cited in response.

“From time to time, staff may be advised in the morning that the weather is too hazardous for them to work that day. In this situation, staff are able to claim for four hours, rather than six hours, which is the standard maximum number of working hours each day,” read a statement from Statistics New Zealand.

Labour’s employment spokesperson Grant Robertson added: “We need to know that our government agencies are treating people not only in line with the law, but actually as fairly as possible.

“It seems pretty clear that change has only happened once someone’s complained and once it was drawn to the attention of Radio New Zealand.

“We would certainly expect more than that from a government department.”