Waikato man Graeme Cairns 'time travels' to avoid the Census

Anti-Census campaigner The Laird McGillicuddy says he went back in time to send this photo as he entered The Tardis just before midnight last night.
Anti-Census campaigner The Laird McGillicuddy says he went back in time to send this photo as he entered The Tardis just before midnight last night.

The quinquennial New Zealand Census is upon us once again, and as usual, at least one New Zealander will be opting out in style.

Veteran anti-census campaigner The Laird McGillicuddy, aka Graeme Cairns, has come up with a cunning plan to avoid having to fill out the form on Census Day today.

He plans to bravely step into a "Tardis" at Raglan Vintage & Retro and be transported to another time.

The Statistics Act 1975 states that every person in New Zealand between the hours of midnight on Census day and noon the following day must fill out the schedule.

So by being in another time the Laird hoped to put himself beyond the reach of the law — ironically by using a converted ex-police box.

"I'm not sure where I'll be heading," Graeme said.

"These Tardis seem to have a mind of their own, so it may be forwards or backwards. Either way, it should be rather interesting."

It's not certain if this Tardis still possesses the ability to move through space as well.

If only time travel occurred, the Laird was hoping that he wouldn't go back before 1921 as the Raglan Wharf where the Tardis currently resides wasn't erected till then.

"I don't imagine either passenger or craft would enjoy being submerged below high tide," he said.

"Worse still would be to go back to April 2010 and arrive in the middle of the Raglan Wharf fire."

He said the ideal journey would involve both time and space travel.

"I'd quite like to be there for the birth of Jesus," Graeme said.

"It would answer a lot of people's questions and most likely be of great assistance if I have to conduct a court case against the Statistics Department."

The Laird has defended himself in court several times for census infringements with various defences, such as being not in New Zealand because he was hovering above Hamilton's Garden Place in a hot air balloon; possessed by an early pre-human and unable to comprehend language, read, write or even speak; or claiming to be cryogenically frozen and declared dead.

This time, if it comes to that, his defence will be based on the Government having specified the wrong time and date for the Census.

"With our current daylight saving, plus the half hour advance in time that New Zealand permanently adopted in 1946, we are currently 90 minutes ahead of our allotted place with Greenwich Mean Time, so the governor-general has called for the census slightly too early," Graeme said.

He said the date of March 6 was also questionable.

"The 'Christian' or 'Equinoxial' calendar that we use was invented in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.

"In swapping to it people had to lose 10 whole days.

"This was not popular."

He said the Protestant and Orthodox churches viewed the new system with deep suspicion and resisted it for hundreds of years. Secular Russia didn't change till 1918.

Great Britain took 170 years, and when they changed, amid howls of protest, lost 11 days.

"Give Us Back Our 11 Days", read a street banner.

"To this day some Christian Churches and most peoples of other religious persuasions do not follow the Gregorian Calendar.

"Adherents to its predecessor the Roman 'Julian' Calendar will be universally referring to the day New Zealanders call March 6 as February 21," says Graeme.

According to this reckoning, he claimed the Census is being held 13 days too early.

Even greater ambiguity surrounds the official year of the census.

"AD 2018 means in the two thousand and eighteenth year of our Lord, or in the 12 months leading up to the 2018th celebration of his/her birth.

"There is, however, a very large body of astronomical and historical evidence that indicates that Jesus of Nazareth was born some time between 7BC and 2BC, and not in the fictional 'Year Dot' as our calendar suggests.

"The net result of all these arbitrary assumptions by our Government is that, although it appears that both the time and month of this census are early by a total of 13 days and 90 minutes, their fixing of the year is so far out in the opposite direction, that they've missed the legally-binding census period by a country mile — at best one year, 11 months, 14 days and 22 hours.

"This calls into serious question the legality of the current census."

At least that's what Graeme will be strenuously arguing if called by the Chief Statistician to defend himself.

- Te Awamutu Courier

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