The release of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures for the March quarter may be delayed for up to two weeks due to disruptions caused by the February 22 earthquake that hit Christchurch, Statistics New Zealand says.
The data was due to be released on June 23.
Government Statistician Geof Bascand told media this morning the extra time would be used to analyse how the earthquake affected Stats NZ's processes for measuring GDP and to get supplementary data for the release.
Other major releases are due to be released on time, such as Balance of Payments data (June 22), the Consumers Price Index (April 18) and the Household Labour Force Survey (May 5).
No data lost
Statistics New Zealand have about 250 of its 950 staff based in Christchurch, with the two buildings they worked in now yellow-stickered and some servers unretrievable. However, no raw data has been lost due to back-ups carried out by Stats NZ, although some processing of the raw data had been lost.
It was likely to be some months before the two buildings were functional again, with staff moving to a floor of the Ministry of Social Development building in Papanui in May, Bascand said.
Meanwhile, Bascand would not be drawn into his thinking on when a census should be held, saying his advice and the decision was now before the government.
The census was cancelled due to the February earthquake for an indefinate period of time. The Statistics Act 1975 states a census must be held every five years from 1976, meaning government will either have to hold it this year, or change the legislation so it can be delayed beyond 2011.
Bascand did indicate however that the cost of 're-holding' this year's census would increase gradually the further delayed it is.
(Updates with info on other major releases, census info)