Oamaru has been selected as the first place in the country to use a completely online system for completing the five-yearly census to be held in March.
Statistics New Zealand representatives told Waitaki District Council members on Tuesday that Oamaru had been selected because of its high degree of online census returns in 2006.
Statistics New Zealand analyst Phillippa Kidd said Oamaru was the only town selected.
However, in the future it is proposed that most people in New Zealand will receive a letter like the one to be mailed out in Oamaru instead of paper census forms.
"When the census was last conducted in 2006, Oamaru proved to be very online savvy," she said.
"Oamaru had an 11 per cent online return against the rest of New Zealand with seven per cent.
"It also has good address information, thanks to the Waitaki District Council."
Ms Kidd said the area to be targeted for the mail-out census will run south and west from Waitaki Boys' High School to 1000 Acre Rd and includes Weston, greater Oamaru and Thames St.
"Although residents will be able to complete their census papers online, we are still offering paper copies for anyone who does not have access to a computer or who simply prefers to have a paper copy," she said.
Census forms will start being delivered from February 16 next year and online facilities will be available from the same day.
Completing forms online will be a case of going to the website: www.census.govt.nz, clicking on "complete your forms online" and using the numbers from your letter if you are in the mail-out district or from your paper forms and inside your internet access code if you are in the rest of the country.