Data Collection

Agricultural Production Census: June 2002 (Final)

Agricultural Production Census: June 2002 (Final) en-NZ




This release contains final results from the Agricultural Production Census taken in June 2002. The census represents the commencement of a partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to undertake a programme of agriculture production statistics. This is the first census of agriculture since 1994, with more recent surveys of the agricultural sector being taken in 1999 and 2000. In 1999, a sample survey of livestock and arable farming was conducted, while in 2000, a horticultural survey was conducted.

Target population

The target population for the 2002 Agricutural Production Census was all units that were engaged in 'agricultural production activity' (including livestock, cropping, horticulture and forestry) with the intention of selling that production and/or which owned land that was intended for agricultural activity during the year ended 30 June 2002. The target population also includes businesses and persons commonly referred to as 'lifestylers' engaged in agricultural production activity.

In terms of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), the target population is taken from:

  • A01 Agriculture
  • A0301 Forestry (excluding native forestry)

and parts of:

  • L771290 Commercial Property Operators and Developers nec (Idle land)
  • L781000 Scientific Research (agriculture related research that involves land holding (excl. universities))
  • N843100 Higher Education (agriculture related research undertaken by universities that involves land holding), and
  • P931120 Horse and Dog Training for Racing (racehorse training and racing stables operations).

The target population excluded:

  • A015930 - Beekeeping, and
  • part of A015990 Other Livestock nec (worm farming, pet breeding, dog breeding, cat breeding, bird breeding (except poultry, game birds and ostriches)).

Survey population

The survey population for the 2002 Agricultural Production Census was all units that were identified on Statistics New Zealand's Business Frame or the Inland Revenue Department's (IRD) Client Register as being engaged in agricultural activity. The Business Frame is a list of businesses in New Zealand based on firms registered for goods and services tax (GST) with the Inland Revenue Department while the Client Register consists of all businesses registered with that department. In addition, the population was supplemented with information from 'AgriBase' (a national database maintained by AgriQuality New Zealand Ltd), previous agricultural surveys and lists from industry sources. This composite frame was used to ensure a comprehensive coverage of agricultural activity in New Zealand was achieved.

The survey population for the 2002 Agricultural Production Census included those 'lifestylers' who were identifiable on IRD’s Client Register or SNZ’s Business Frame as being engaged in in-scope agricultural activity. Statistics New Zealand has not included in the survey population 'Lifestylers' engaged in agricultural activity if they could not be identified on either the Client Register or the Business Frame.

Time series consistency

The 2002 Agricultural Production Census coverage differs from that of previous agricultural production censuses and surveys. The previous census was held in 1994, while sample surveys of the agriculture sector were taken in 1995 and 1996. The 1999 survey covered only livestock and cropping while the 2000 survey covered only the horticultural sector. Users should be aware of the differences in coverage when making comparisons between 2002 and earlier years. Between 1994 and 1996, the population definition was all units on Statistics New Zealand's Business Frame that were registered for GST and classified to agriculture. The 1999 Agricultural Production Survey coverage was based solely on AgriBase (a geospatial database owned and managed by AgriQuality New Zealand Ltd). Coverage for the 2000 Horticulture Production Survey was based on Statistics New Zealand's Business Frame, supplemented by AgriBase and growers lists.

Users should also be aware of changes in questionnaire design when making comparisons between 2002 and earlier years. SNZ have footnoted the relevant tables where questionnaire design changes have had an impact on data comparisons.

Reliability of survey estimates

Errors are divided into two classes: sampling error and non-sampling error.

Sampling error arises from selecting a sample of units rather than taking a complete enumeration, and is not applicable when the survey is a census. Estimates for 1995, 1996 and 1999 were derived from sample surveys and are subject to sampling error. The 2002 Agricultural Production Census is not subject to sampling error.

Non-sampling error arises from biases in the patterns of response and non-response, inaccuracies in reporting by respondents, and errors in the recording and classification of data. Statistics New Zealand adopts procedures to detect and minimise these types of errors, but they may still occur and are not easy to quantify.

Survey response rates

The response rate is 81 percent. This measures the proportion of eligible units responding to the 2002 Agricultural Production Census.


Statistics New Zealand has imputed values for farmers and growers in the 2002 Agricultural Production Census who have not returned a completed questionnaire. The method of imputation is random 'hot deck' imputation. A proportion of non-respondents were estimated as ineligible. The remaining non-respondents were grouped into imputation cells based on farm type, Territorial Authority and annualised goods and services tax (GST) values. Each non-respondent was then randomly assigned to a respondent in the same imputation cell and the farm production data of the respondent was copied across to the non-respondent. In order to improve the imputation process, respondents with uncharacteristically high levels of agricultural activity were removed from their respective imputation cells, as it was considered unlikely that any of the non-respondents would have similar characteristics to them.

2002 imputation levels

Imputation levels for the 2002 Agricultural Production Census

Description% of total estimate imputed
Grazing, arable, fodder and fallow land in hectares12
Horticulture land in hectares13
Planted production forest in hectares6
Other land in hectares9
Total land in hectares11
Total number of lambs 13
Total number of ewe hoggets put to ram13
Total number of ewe (2 tooth and over put to ram)13
Total number of sheep13
Total number of beef cattle13
Total number of dairy cattle16
Total number of deer14
Area planted in apples11
Area planted in kiwifruit11
Area planted in avocados15
Area planted in wine grapes12
Area planted in olives20
Area of onions harvested9
Area of potatoes harvested13
Area of squash harvested7
Area of outdoor tomatoes harvested10
Area of indoor tomatoes harvested17
New area planted in forestry14
Area replanted or regenerated (forestry)2
Exotic timber harvested (cubic metres)1
Exotic timber harvested ( hectares)1


Data collected and information contained in this publication must conform to the provisions of the Statistics Act 1975. This requires that published information maintains the confidentiality of individual respondents.


Information obtained from Statistics New Zealand may be freely used, reproduced, or quoted unless otherwise specified. In all cases Statistics New Zealand must be acknowledged as the source.


Statistics New Zealand gives no warranty that the information or data supplied contains no errors. However, all care and diligence has been used in processing, analysing and extracting the information. Statistics New Zealand shall not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by the customer consequent upon the use directly, or indirectly, of the information supplied in this product.


Timed statistical releases are delivered using postal and electronic services provided by third parties. Delivery of these releases may be delayed by circumstances outside the control of Statistics New Zealand. Statistics New Zealand accepts no responsibility for any such delays.




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