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Commitment 9 progress report: to April 2019

Open Government Partnership New Zealand National Action Plan 2018-2020

Progress report to: 30 April 2019

Commitment 9 progress report: to April 2019


Commitment 9: Increase visibility of government data stewardship practices

Lead agency: Stats NZ (Government Chief Data Steward)

Objective: To increase the visibility of data practices for government-held data.

Ambition: New Zealanders will:

  • understand how government is managing, using, and protecting their data and be able to hold government to account.
  • have confidence and trust in the management and use of data that government holds on their behalf.

OGP values: Transparency, Accountability



Milestone 1

Develop and publish an overview of government’s data stewardship practices

Start/End dates: August 2018 to 30 November 2018

Progress: Underway

Milestone 2

Engage with citizens and government on the data stewardship overview to ensure it provides visibility of the right things and is addressing key needs 

Start/End dates: 1 December 2018 to 31 April 2019

Progress: Underway

Milestone 3

Promote the data stewardship practices to government agencies and support them to implement good practice

Start/End dates: 1 May 2019 (ongoing)

Progress: Underway

Milestone 4

Engage with citizens and government to identify where effort should be focused to address gaps in government’s data stewardship practices

Start/End dates: 1 May 2019 to 30 November 2019 (then periodically ongoing)

Progress: Underway


What we have been doing

  • The New Zealand government holds substantial data on behalf of its citizens and business’, and in a digital era where data continues to increase at an exponential rate, the government has recognised the opportunities to harness data to deliver better outcomes for New Zealanders.
  • In September 2018 Cabinet appointed Liz MacPherson, Chief Executive of Stats NZ, as Government Chief Data Steward; tasking her with driving New Zealand’s ambitions for data. Put simply, New Zealand wants to extract maximum value from data for the benefit of our society, economy and environment.  Cabinet has authorised Government’s Chief Data Steward to set mandatory standards and guidelines, and direct agencies to adopt common data capabilities. This mandate has provided Government’s Chief Data Steward with the basis for defining good data stewardship practices.
  • However, the stewardship practices needed to be given context to ensure the practices would work cohesively across government and address the full scope of data stewardship. Following research into system stewardship and data management, Stats NZ developed a draft data stewardship framework comprising eight high-level elements that work across the various roles and layers of New Zealand’s data system.  The draft framework has been guided by Government’s Information Group[1] and discussed with several government agencies and other key stakeholders. 
  • Accompanying the draft framework is a draft toolkit of guidance, resources, and tools through which the framework will be implemented. Government’s Chief Data Steward is collaborating across government to develop the toolkit, leveraging expertise and the good practices already used in many agencies. Government’s Chief Data Steward is also deepening their understanding of the stewardship needs of organisations and agencies to help identify gaps in the toolkit and prioritise resource development.
  • New Zealanders will shortly be invited to provide feedback on the draft framework and toolkit. We’re taking a multi-channel approach, inviting views via web, email and discussion forum platforms.  We’re seeking comment on what elements need more explanation or a better definition, what else should be included in the framework, existing resources that could be added to the toolkit, and the resources needed to help people and organisations better manage and use data.

How we are including diverse voices

  • As above, Government’s Information Group (a group of senior public service information leaders) has guided the development of the stewardship framework and toolkit. The group has a balanced mix of male and female participants, and the group brings a diverse range of views from their respective agencies.
  • As also noted above we are seeking public views on the framework and toolkit via a multi-channel approach, making it as easy as possible for all New Zealanders to have a say.

How we are keeping diverse communities informed

  • As per standard practice we intend in due course to publish summary submissions from our consultation, likely in online form via

What’s next?

  • Publish the draft data stewardship framework and toolkit in Q2 2019, raise awareness, and invite feedback.
  • Publish summary submissions in Q3 2019.

Links – Evidence of progress and milestones acheved

Cabinet paper on strengthening data leadership across government


[1] A group of senior information leaders across New Zealand’s Public Service