Appendix 1 - Technical notes

Survey Information

WeCount 2019 was conducted between the 6th to the 31st of May. There were 2,571 total responses to this survey, of which only 1,766 respondents were part of the LGBTQIA+ communities and only 1,565 were complete responses. Following data validation, the number of usable responses for employees in the core Public Service is 1,078. The findings from the survey is based on the 1,078 responses. There were an additional 368 responses from employees in the State Services LT agencies, and an additional 119 responses from those employed at agencies out of scope of this survey.

Respondents who did not identify as LGBTQIA+ and/or who were not employed at agencies in scope of this survey were excluded from this final count. A small number of the 1,191 identities in the gender or sexual not elsewhere included categories are not represented in some graphs.

Interpreting the findings

The dataset obtained from the survey represents a self-selected sample and is not representative of all rainbow people in the New Zealand Public Service. In addition, respondents willing to self-identity as LGBTQIA+ may be different from, or have different experiences to, people who do not wish to disclose their LGBTQIA+ status, even in an anonymous survey. As such, findings reported here only apply to the respondents to the WeCount 2019 survey and not to the general rainbow population.

Due to the lack of data on the rainbow population within the Public Service, it was not possible to weight the survey findings to be representative of all LGBTQIA+ people, nor was it possible to weight the data, for example for non-response, as it was not based on a sample. Similarly, standard confidence intervals and statistical testing were not appropriate because the data was not based on a representative sample.


Stats NZ's Statistical Standards on Sexual Identity and Gender Identity have been used in the questionnaire design and reporting. Sexual identity has been expanded from the categories noted in the Stats Standard based on advice from CARN e.g. asexual and pansexual has been included as response options in the questionnaire. Results have been aggregated into the Stats Standard level. Gender identity has also been captured slightly differently to the Stats Standard recommended grouping based on advice from CARN, e.g. gender diverse has been changed to non-binary. Note that the Gender Identity Statistical Standard is currently under review.  

Where respondents selected the ‘prefer to self-describe option’, these values have been recoded back to the relevant classification category where possible. This was completed by using the Stats NZ synonym files and matching those self-described values back to the classification. Most people provided a single response to the identity questions. A few provided multiple responses. In these cases, we included their answers under each identity (e.g. a person who identifies as gay and transgender)[6].

Where a response was coded to a residual category (Refused, Unidentifiable or Outside of Scope) we grouped these categories together into a ‘Not elsewhere included’ group. These responses are still included in the results.


Most questions used a five-point Likert scale with 1 being very hard or very uncomfortable and 5 being very easy, or very comfortable. In the results we present here, we either group these into three categories (1/2, 3, 4/5) or average across the five-point scale.


[6]This is the approach that is typically taken when analysing ethnicity data for those with multiple ethnicities.

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