Preliminary census results show that Russian spies only make up 1.3% of New Zealand population

The number of Russian spies in New Zealand isn’t even as high as the population of Palmerston North.

The number of Russian spies in New Zealand isn’t even as high as the population of Palmerston North.

Some vindication for the Prime Minister and her foreign minister today, as leaked census data shows that the number of Russian spies in New Zealand is relatively small, as compared to the general population.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, along with Foreign Minister Winston Peters, have been under fire this week for failing to follow the lead of the UK, the United States, and Australia in expelling suspected Russian spies from their countries.

But Ardern insists there isn’t anyone to expel, and that either there are no foreign agents who fit the profile of a Russian spy, or that their presence is negligible.

“We do not have any undeclared intelligence officers in New Zealand,” she told media today, adding: “That does not mean New Zealand is not subject to Russian agents who secretly monitor us and divulge our most sensitive national secrets to the Russian government. I must make that distinction.

While such assurances have been scoffed at by the Opposition, 2018 preliminary census data, awkwardly leaked to the media today in a humiliating fashion by a man wearing fake facial hair and glasses who tripped over himself and was quite transparently Statistics Minister James Shaw but insisted his name was “a different James”, reveals that Russian spies make up only a very small portion of our roughly five million population.

According to the census data, which was gathered earlier in March but is not yet finalised, there are roughly 62,400 Russian spies in New Zealand, just 1.3% of the population.

“It’s tiny!” roared Peters in Parliament this afternoon, hiffing the leaked numbers onto the floor in the direction of the Opposition. “It’s nonsense. There are more South Africans in New Zealand than Russian intelligence officials, and nearly as many Samoans.

“People in the Five Eyes have consulted with us on our decision, understand our decision, and did so before the decision was made,” he said, before being quietly whispered to by the Prime Minister. “Correction: after the decision was made.”

National Party leader Semen Bridgov has been relatively quiet since the leak, but did say he’d like to see the statistics once “officially released”, and did not put a lot a whole lot of weight on them “когда они стоят.”

The data backs up Ardern’s claim that the problem is virtually nonexistent in New Zealand, as compared to the UK, where one in every three cabinet ministers is a Russian agent, but no one knows which ones.