NZ Government commits to making data open

The New Zealand Government has joined those of 17 other countries, including Australia, in signing up to the International Open Data Charter, saying the move will help drive innovation, support public accountability and encourage engagement with government.

The move follows the Government seeking public input on the idea in September 2016, and in March this year allocating $7.2m over three years to speed the release of government data.

Statistics minister Scott Simpson said the move would ensure Government-held data was used to help achieve better outcomes for New Zealanders through data-driven innovation, informed decision-making and evidence-based policy.

“The Government holds a vast amount of valuable data on behalf of New Zealanders. Open government data is non-personal, unclassified and non-confidential, and is freely available to anyone to use and share. Personal, confidential, and classified data remain protected,” Simpson said.

“As well as meeting increased user demand for open data to drive innovation, this will ensure we are accountable, transparent, and resilient in our use of data.”

Statistics NZ, through its government statistician and chief executive, is responsible for the implementation of the Open Data Charter principles. It took over responsibility from Land Information New Zealand in March this year.

The International Open Data Charter is a non-binding agreement with six principles and supporting actions, mandating that data should be:

- Always open unless there is a good reason not to be (‘open by default’)

- Timely and comprehensive

- Accessible and useable

- Comparable and use standardised formats

- For improved governance and citizen engagement

- For inclusive development and innovation.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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