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Commitment 3 progress report: Mar – Jun 2018

Open Government Partnership New Zealand National Action Plan 2016-2018

Date: March to June 2018

Commitment 3 year end report: March to June 2018


Year End: Commitment 3 - Improving open data access and principles

Lead agency: Stats NZ

To review and strengthen the principles under which New Zealand releases open data and information.



Milestone 1

Review potential adoption of the International Open Data Charter, using public feedback

Progress: completed

Milestone 2

Review New Zealand Data and Information Management Principles

Progress: completed

Milestone 3

Determine what principles will guide release of, and access to, New Zealand open data and information, using public feedback

Progress: completed

Milestone 4

Engage with citizens and government on application of the new/amended open data principles

Progress: completed

Milestone 5

Implement new/amended open data principles.

End date: June 2018

Progress: completed


What have we been doing?

  • On 2 March 2018 the Minister of Statistics Hon James Shaw and Government Chief Data Steward Liz MacPherson co-signed a letter to formally adopt the Open Data Charter.
  • Stats NZ is responsible for the implementation of the Charter principles, and the Chief Executive of Stats NZ and Government Chief Data Steward, Liz MacPherson, is the government point of contact for the Charter. The Charter principles will be implemented through the updated Open Data Action Plan for which the Government Chief Data Steward has responsibility.
  • Stats NZ is now focusing on helping government agencies integrate the principles into their data management practices, using the principles as the foundation for articulating value propositions and identifying implementation tactics. To facilitate this we have established new engagement channels and reinvigorated existing ones such as the Data Champions Network.
  • Stats NZ has published guidance resources that shows how the NZ Data and Information Management Principles and the Open Data Charter principles work together and can be applied in the NZ context, including how these principles relate to other NZ data and information frameworks and mandates. We have asked for feedback on these resources to enable us to refine them and ensure they are useful.

How did this commitment contribute to open government?

  • This commitment contributes to the OGP values of access to information and public accountability.
  • Adopting the Open Data Charter reinforces New Zealand’s continued commitment to open data, and provides a more up to date framework for accelerating the release of open government data. The Charter reiterates to government agencies the existing requirements to release high value data, and provides specific requirements for what it means to manage and release open data.
  • Of particular relevance to open government is Charter principle 5 – For improved governance and citizen engagement. This principle recognises that the release of open data:
    • strengthens the governance of and trust in government,
    • provides a transparent and accountable foundation to improve decision-making and enhance the provision of public services
    • encourages better development, implementation, and assessment of policies and services to meet the needs of our citizens
    • enables civic participation and better informed engagement between governments and citizens.
  • Stats NZ recognises that having strengthened or mandated principles is not enough to deliver the change needed to accelerate the release of open government data. In adopting the Open Data Charter we are obliged to have an implementation plan with specific, time-bound activities, and to track implementation progress. As part of this implementation plan we will develop and provide resources and support to help government agencies implement the principles.
  • Ongoing engagement with agencies will enable us to continuously improve the resources and support we provide. Through this engagement we are also discussing the release of data about the agencies themselves, in addition to releasing open data collected through their operations. This will contribute to improving the openness and transparency of government.