Statistics New Zealand ramps up online performance

Statistics New Zealand (Statistics) needed to ensure that it provided an online system to collect official statistics of high integrity and quality for use by government and New Zealanders to inform decisions.

Our solution enabled a range of platforms to run the Internet Collection System smoothly.

The Challenge

Statistics New Zealand had to develop the Internet Collection System for the 2013 Census. Key requirements were to ensure privacy and security of data, browser compatibility, and to provide a high level of performance and availability for the website while processing a very high load in a short period of time. 

The Solution

Datacom had successfully developed the system for the census in 2006 and 2011 and application development for 2013 was based on reuse of this system. However, Statistics wanted changes made in line with fresh requirements. It also wanted extensive testing and updates to accommodate a wide range of browsers across a variety of platforms.

The solution enabled a range of platforms to run smoothly predominantly Windows, Mac, iOS (iPad or iPhone), Android (tablet or phone), and Linux, while smaller numbers of users with Windows Phone, Smart TV, Xbox, and Blackberry were able to use it. Additionally, a real-time dashboard provided live updates for key business data and system performance indicators.

Datacom’s experience of the organisation and our expertise in software development and system integration ensured the overall technical success of the Internet Collection System, providing certainty of outcome to Statistics. Implementation cut across infrastructure and network designs, support of server infrastructure, databases and load balancing equipment while collaborating with Statistics and a third-party provider.

The solution Datacom architected and developed for Census 2013 met all the performance requirements and achieved 100% availability, 24 hours a day for eight weeks.

"Working with Datacom again on the national census allowed us to leverage the innovation and insight from across their firm - they provided the integration leadership we needed to successfully deliver the online census in 2013.”

Carol Slappendel - Acting Deputy Government Statistician, Collections and Dissemination, Statistics New Zealand 


  • 2 million or approximately 35% of total census forms were collected online, with peak load reaching 130,000 forms per hour on census day.
  • Statistics wanted a system that encouraged and supported all citizens to complete the Census online – on any device. Our solution resulted in a 27.28 per cent increase of online engagement compared to the results achieved at the end of the 2006 Census making New Zealand a world leader in terms of collecting census forms online.