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Our year

Stewarding data – now and for the future

Our key focuses in the last year included:

New Zealand Data Futures

The Ministers of Finance and Statistics established the New Zealand Data Futures Forum in 2013, to explore how data can be safely harnessed and put to use to improve lives and help businesses prosper. The forum published their final recommendations in July 2014.

Following the release of these recommendations, we led the Government’s response, working with Treasury, Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

We led the development of a Cabinet paper outlining the Government’s response to the recommendations. In February 2015, the Cabinet Economic Growth and Infrastructure committee considered and agreed to the paper Government response to the recommendations of the New Zealand Data Futures Forum.

See Government response to the recommendations of the New Zealand Data Futures Forum for the paper.

This paper sets out four priority actions:

  • Champion and enable catalyst projects that use data to innovate and solve real-world problems.
  • Design and establish an independent Data Council to promote a high-value, data-use environment based on the principles of value, inclusion, trust, and control.
  • Review information management policy and legislative settings to ensure New Zealand has a framework that enables data sharing and use.
  • Continue to support the release and reuse of open data by government, and encourage those outside government to open up their data by expanding the existing Open Government Data programme.

Our focus in the final quarter of the year was to respond to the priority actions and lay the groundwork for catalyst projects and the establishment of the New Zealand Data Futures Partnership. The partnership is a cross-sector group of influential people that will drive greater trusted data sharing and use.

Environmental reporting

This year we continued our long-term partnership with the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) on environmental reporting, in particular the Environmental Reporting Bill.

At the end of March 2015, the Local Government and Environmental Select Committee reported back to the House on the Environmental Reporting Bill (the Bill) and recommended the Bill be passed with several amendments. As this annual report was being produced, the Bill was awaiting its third reading, ahead of a final vote.

In late March 2015, the Secretary for the Environment and the Government Statistician announced which topics would be the focus of the Environment Aotearoa 2015 and Environmental indicators Te taiao Aotearoa reports.

We are compiling these reports with MfE. The broad range of topics includes:

  • river quality
  • native plants and animals
  • ocean acidity
  • impacts on human health.

Environment Aotearoa 2015 and Environmental indicators Te taiao Aotearoa were developed alongside the legislation to make future national environmental reporting more regular, more independent, and more useful. They will be published on 21 October 2015.

Information as a strategic asset

During 2014/15, we worked with colleagues at DIA, LINZ, MfE, and MoJ to accelerate the speed that value is released from New Zealand’s strategic information assets, which is all data and information held by government.

We chaired the Strategic Information Group, which was established in 2014/15. The Government Statistician is on the ICT Chief Executives’ Leadership Group, which supports the Government Chief Information Office (GCIO) to fulfil its mandate to deliver a more cohesive information management approach across the public sector.

We also played a key role in implementing the Government Chief Privacy Officer function, delivering the new Protective Security Requirements, and progressing the Strategic Information Management Programme.

In 2014/15 we provided input to the GCIO on the development of several initiatives, as part of the refresh of the ICT strategy action plan – we play a lead role in two action items.

As the lead agency for action area 3 – strengthen capability in the use of data analytics – we are working to build and strengthen data analytics capability across government. We have a variety of partners, including the private sector and academia.

As the lead agency for action area 5 – accelerate secure information exchange – we are exploring and seeking to implement better ways to manage and release government data and statistics, and to enhance access to ‘open data’. Open data is data that anyone can freely use, reuse, and redistribute with the minimum requirement to share the data and attribute its source.

In our role as steward of the data ecosystem, we continue to work with other government agencies to ensure that privacy and security practices are fit for purpose and aligned with all-of-government practices.

Internally, we are updating our information management system to align with all-of-government procurement guidelines.

See Increasing the pace of technology improvements  for more information on this.


Sharing our journey with international colleagues

Image, Government Statistician Liz MacPherson greets the delegation from Badan Pusay Statistik Indonesia.

Government Statistician Liz MacPherson greets the delegation from Badan Pusay Statistik Indonesia.

Statistics NZ welcomed a delegation from Indonesia’s national statistics office, Badan Pusay Statistik Indonesia (BPS Indonesia), in May 2015. 

BPS Indonesia is embarking on its own transformation journey and the group came to Statistics NZ on a study visit, primarily to learn about our transformation work with Stats 2020, as well as how we operate more broadly.

The visit allowed the delegation to learn how a national statistics office goes about transforming itself to be more efficient and responsive to customers. Our visitors were particularly interested in how we are structured along functional lines, and how we are working to develop and implement systems and processes that drive standardised approaches across collections.

For BPS Indonesia, the visit partly met their goal to establish cooperation with international institutions and other countries to benefit Indonesia’s statistical development.

Working across government

During 2014/15, we were also involved in these activities in our role as leader of the OSS.

  • Worked with the Ministry for Primary Industries on agriculture statistics, including enhancements to our shared memorandum of understanding (MOU), which was last reviewed in 2002.
  • Advised the Reserve Bank of New Zealand on questionnaire and sample design.
  • Signed an MOU with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade – to offer the National Certificate in Public Services (Official Statistics) to five Pacific nations, in four locations over five years, ensuring capability continues to be built.
  • Partnered with the Office for Disability Issues to establish a Disability Data and Evidence Working Group – to prioritise information needs and improve monitoring and reporting on disability issues.
  • Reaffirmed our commitment to support PC Trade, an IT system that ensures Pacific nations can gather reliable trade information when they have limited resources, and can meet their international obligations.
  • Collaborated with the Ministry of Health and DIA on developing an Asia-Pacific Action Framework for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics.
  • Co-hosted a one-day workshop with Greater Wellington Regional Council and Treasury to promote the Living Standards Framework tool to more than 60 people from: central and local government, non-governmental organisations, Mäori, researchers, the private sector, and the community.

Victims of crime statistics published

Image, Victims of crime statistics published.

Working with New Zealand Police, we published a new set of statistics about victims of crime. These new statistics are part of the Tier 1 development plan – we introduced them a year earlier than planned. Their publication implements recommendations made in the Review of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics report and reinforces the importance of domain planning.

Planning for the new statistics began in July 2014. Previously there was very little information about victims. Now, Police and stakeholders will be able to safely and legally share with other interested groups very timely data about victims of crime. Researchers will be able to access the data under our strict Data Lab conditions.

Enabling New Zealand decision-makers and providing trusted, independent data

Our key focuses include:

Responding to Māori

He Arotahi Tatauranga is our statistical framework for Māori information needs. It is a resource for those working on statistics for and about Māori. We intend it to be used across the Official Statistics System, but primarily by Māori – to organise and use their information in a way that supports their development and well-being that is consistent with their aspirations.

This year we developed a tool to help people apply He Arotahi Tatauranga to their work. Feedback has been positive. Comments highlight how the methodology can be easily transferred into other work areas.

In 2014/15 we hosted a series of hui that brought together M1aori stakeholders. Each hui covered a specific development area: economic, social and cultural, and environmental.

The first hui, held in November 2014, focused on economic development and how we can best enable Māori-led development. This built on what we have achieved so far in our journey to provide more insight and value to Māori.

The discussions with Māori economic and business leaders, and with government officials, reinforced the importance of a partnership approach. We need to be prepared to ‘get out and try things, working with Māori’ rather than waiting to find the perfect solution.

The second hui in March 2015 discussed how data could better enable Māori-led social and cultural development. This hui generated a lot of energy and enthusiasm: ‘buzzing’ and ‘fizzing’ were terms both our visitors and employees used to describe how they felt after the hui.

The third hui, held in May, brought together Māori experts, iwi leaders, and other prominent Māori with officials from Statistics NZ, Ministry for the Environment, and Department of Conservation to discuss future environment data needs for Māori.

A final hui, scheduled for the first quarter of 2015/16, will bring together all the themes discussed at the previous hui.

Developing user-friendly products and services

Following work to develop more awareness of how StatsMaps are used, and to better understand customers’ needs, our Customer Experience and Digital Publishing teams carried out user testing on StatsMaps. Participants from key audience groups participated in the assessment. Our goal was to identify barriers to finding and understanding information on StatsMaps. A follow-up report and presentation recommended usability improvements for the product, which are being implemented.

We also launched new visualisation tools that allow less-technical customers to more easily analyse, interpret, and use our information. A visualisation tool for gross domestic product shows quarterly changes in the production of different industries that make up New Zealand’s economy, and their relative importance. The tool has a ‘slider bar’ to track changes since 1987.

The new interactive consumers price index (CPI) tradables and non-tradables visualisation tool was first published on our website in October 2014. The tool enables customers to explore changes in prices and the relative importance of goods and services in the CPI basket.

Trialling a new way of working with the private sector

Better for Business (Result 9) trialled a new way of working with the private sector to develop products and services that make it easier for businesses to work with government.

The business accelerator process is a proven tool that entrepreneurs use to rapidly develop, design, and prototype ideas from concept to a ‘minimum viable product’ – the stage where there is a proposed solution for further investment. The 12-week accelerator process put together entrepreneurs, business mentors, and agency staff in an intensive design and prototyping process, outside normal government systems.

Our Digital Publishing Manager, Graeme Simpson, joined the accelerator process in April to lead the development of a business-market information product.

Shoppin is the prototype the team came up with, a tool for retail and hospitality businesses looking for the best location to open or expand a new shop front.

The Shoppin tool looks at foot traffic numbers, potential customers, competitors, transit routes, and available properties in an area. It provides valuable insights to help a business owner determine the suitability of a location.

The idea for the tool came from discussions with a variety of small business owners. As part of their research, the team spoke with business owners to identify the information retailers wanted to know about a location.

Graeme presented Shoppin at a demo day, where all the R9 teams pitched their products to a panel of government agencies and investors. It was an opportunity for Better for Business partner agencies and stakeholders to see how the public and private sectors can work together – to rapidly develop potential solutions for major pain points for New Zealand businesses.

Large Business Service

Image, Statistics NZ’s Large Business Service team in Auckland.

Statistics NZ's Large Business Service team in Auckland.

As an organisation we place a big data supply load on our largest businesses. Some complete hundreds of surveys for us each year.

In early 2015 the Large Business Service looked to improve the way we work with these businesses, by helping clients identify ways to simplify data collection and by advocating for businesses.

Our Auckland-based relationship managers in the Large Business Service lead our engagement with the largest businesses that supply data to us.

Relationship managers are dedicated contacts for each of the 120 large businesses, which include Fonterra, Fletcher Building, and Air New Zealand.  


Engaging with small business

Image, Data for business campaign.

In April 2015 we began a marketing campaign to reach and engage with small businesses. This campaign was a trial to assess how small businesses interact with us for their data needs, and to determine the most effective channels for us to reach this group.

The campaign included digital, radio, and print advertisements that promoted the benefits of using official statistics to inform business decisions.

It also encouraged people to visit the Data for business section on our website, which we launched in April, or to contact the Information Centre. We developed Data for business from research into the needs of small businesses.

Building capability in the Pacific

We delivered the first unit in the Certificate in Official Statistics in Apia in March. The unit was delivered to 25 statisticians from the Samoa Bureau of Statistics, Tokelau National Statistics Office, and policy advisers from Samoa and Tokelau government agencies.

Participants learned how law and ethics apply to official statistics, starting with United Nations’ principles and their expression in local legislation and practice.

Course participants were highly motivated and are using their learning to complete workplace projects as diverse as:

  • measuring economic growth
  • investigating policy implications on multinational business growth in the Pacific
  • assessing the effectiveness of training available to the Samoa public service
  • synchronising data across agencies that produce personal IDs.

Our staff will deliver the balance of the course in Apia, Fiji, Vanuatu, and the Cook Islands over the next two years.

Pacific Annual Attachment Programme

Image, Pacific Annual Attachment Programme.

From left: Serah-Khell Vito, Vania Kalomor, and Anne Tangimetua, at Statistics NZ.

Statisticians from Papua New Guinea (PNG), Vanuatu, and the Cook Islands headed home with plenty of ideas and connections from their four-week stay with us during March.

Serah-Khell Vito from PNG, Anne Tangimetua from the Cook Islands, and Vania Kalomor from Vanuatu were at Statistics NZ, with support from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Pacific Island Affairs, as part of the Pacific Annual Attachment Programme.

All three statisticians agreed it was fantastic to have built relationships with colleagues here, who they could continue to work with after returning home.

Deputy Government Statistician Colin Lynch said having the statisticians here was a great opportunity for everyone – working in smaller agencies, our visitors tended to work on a much broader range of tasks than those in bigger agencies.

Innovating to drive value to customers

Our key focuses included:

Analysis for Outcomes and the Integrated Data Infrastructure

Cabinet considered the Analysis for Outcomes – Report on Progress paper at the Committee on State Sector Reform and Expenditure Control (SEC) in late July 2014. SEC noted all the paper’s recommendations, in particular the role in reviewing the data-sharing solution and Central Analytic Insights Function by 31 October 2015, and that the Ministers of Finance and Statistics will report back to SEC by November 2015.

Our staff, supported by Treasury officials, also presented to the Cabinet Social Policy Committee (SOC) on the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) and how it could contribute to the Better Public Services programme, and inform and evaluate government investment.

The IDI combines key data from across the public sector into a single anonymised dataset. The IDI links administrative and survey data at an individual/business level, and then confidentialises that data, to enable research and policy analysis. In 2014/15 the focus was laying the groundwork to increase future value.

SOC noted: how the platform is being used; datasets currently included and planned for inclusion; how privacy, confidentiality, and security are being managed; and how the tool is accessed.

We reached an agreement with Inland Revenue and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) to migrate and link families’ benefit and income datasets to the IDI. These datasets were created in 2006 by Inland Revenue and MSD and link specific administrative data – to evaluate the Working for Families package. Agencies, including the Families Commission and Treasury, support greater access to the datasets, which would be achieved with a data transfer to Statistics NZ.

Figure 4 shows the datasets introduced into the IDI, effective 30 June 2015.

Figure 4: Datasets in the IDI at 30 June 2015

Image, Datasets in the IDI at 30 June 2015.

An early example of the value to be gained from the IDI in the past year was Compare Study Options – an online tool that helps students map study choices against future employment outcomes.

Through the IDI, data from Inland Revenue, NZ Customs Service, and Ministry of Education was combined and used to create a comprehensive picture of post-study outcomes for graduates. Careers NZ hosts the web-based query tool, which suggests possible jobs, shows current vacancies, and has comments from people employed in each field of work. In its first week, Compare Study Options had over 41,000 page views.

Compare Study Options is also very easy to use. Students click on a particular qualification and find the median salary one, two, and five years after graduation; the employment rate after two years of study; the percentage of graduates working in New Zealand; whether the chance of getting a job is poor, average, or good; and so on.

We submitted the work on this tool in the Digital Impact category at the 2015 IPANZ Public Sector Excellence awards and won the category.

In March, we began research to gauge public attitudes to data integration and develop appropriate messaging for a non-technical audience. The research explores the public’s willingness to directly or indirectly share information with us, to map how individuals respond to new awareness of data integration, and to gauge the level and extent of concerns we’ve observed.

We plan to use the findings of this research to:

  • inform communications – to ensure continuity of public trust in us as data custodians
  • understand public thresholds for integration
  • understand any impact on our surveys, especially the census.

Census of Population and Dwellings: 2018 and beyond

Investigations into the long-term future of census continued during the year and we published papers for consultation. The Census Transformation Project has three workstreams: targeted user requirements, technical investigations, and legal and policy work.

In the targeted user requirements stream of work we investigated future Mäori census information needs. This identified the most critical information needs as ethnicity, Mäori descent, iwi, and language. In the technical investigations stream we looked to see how administrative data and the IDI could produce count and attribute information of sufficient quality.

We created a linked census/IDI dataset to test the feasibility of administrative data as a replacement for a full census, and set up an inter-agency working group. This work will provide a policy strategy and evidence base to help decide the preferred direction for New Zealand’s census, following the Cabinet report-back in October 2015.

We continued to work with the Ministry of Justice and the Electoral Commission to identify key issues and implications for census transformation and the electoral system.

Planning for the next census began in earnest this year. The strategic goals for the 2018 Census of Population and Dwellings were approved in late 2014. They reflect the need to modernise census processes, reduce costs, improve respondent experience, and maintain the high quality data our customers demand, and for which the census is known.

The goals are: 

  • improve data quality while modernising
  • reduce the cost of collection operations
  • contribute to organisational capability
  • increase use of administrative data
  • make digital engagement easy
  • adopt test-driven development

A key part of modernisation is to radically alter the mix of methods used in collection, including:

  • introducing mail-out
  • not delivering paper forms to every dwelling
  • making the Internet the primary response mode.

In laying the groundwork for 2018 Census, for the first time we engaged about its content online. Using Loomio, an online discussion forum, we offered the public a unique opportunity to discuss and develop thinking around the 2018 Census content. A total of 226 people signed up to the discussion and they provided 1,072 comments. We also had a significant number of people watching, as shown by the 4,131 page views throughout the engagement period. We received some very positive feedback about how it was “great to see such an open, consultative process” and how people appreciated being given the opportunity to have a say about what goes into the next census. We will consider the discussions on Loomio as an input to our final decision-making on the 2018 Census content.

Wrapping up 2013 Census

Image, Wrapping up 2013 Census.

We delivered the last batch of outputs from the 2013 Census with the final release, A century of censuses: Long-term trends from the Census of Population and Dwellings to 2013, published on our website on 14 July 2015.

This year we also received recognition for the work on the 2013 Census campaign ‘Engaging disenfranchised youth in the 2013 Census’, with silver and bronze awards at the NZ Advertising Effectiveness Awards (the ‘Effies’).

Improving price collection

The September 2014 quarter consumers price index (CPI) release was the first to use retail transaction data from market research company GfK to measure price change for a selection of consumer electronic items. New Zealand is the first country in the world to use scanner data for measuring consumer electronic items in a CPI.

We introduced electronic field collection using mobile handheld devices in February 2015 – for fresh fruit and vegetables and fuel. In April we added other food items and non-food items that we price monthly, followed in May by other items in the CPI basket that we collect from retail outlets like department and appliance stores. Our phased approach managed the risks to key statistics from rolling out the new technology.

Before we introduced handhelds we relied on pen and paper, coupled with courier mail, to price and submit the data. Back at the office, we manually entered the pricing data for the food price index (FPI) and CPI, which involved about 6 million keystrokes each year.

The new approach allows field interviewers to capture and send data to the office in real time, leading to smarter, faster, and more-efficient data collection and processing. It also removes duplication and allows the CPI team to start work earlier in the survey cycle. This allows the team to focus more on quality assurance of the data and analysing the outputs.

We review the CPI ‘basket’ every three years to ensure it remains relevant. At the beginning of 2014/15 we implemented changes to the basket following a 2013 review. This included changes to the FPI basket.

‘Big Wednesday’ and topic-based releases

As part of our Customer Focus work, we looked at our releases to see how we could better meet customer needs. By combining surveys into topic-based releases, we found we could bring our information together and make it easier for customers to understand, and give a more comprehensive picture of what is happening.

One example was combining the Household Labour Force Survey, Quarterly Employment Survey, and Labour Cost Index information releases into a single publication – affectionately known in-house as ‘Big Wednesday’. Labour market information is now presented in a more holistic way. The first joint release in February, for the December 2014 quarter, was met with a positive response from market commentators and media.

We also published a combined Goods and Services Trade by Country release for the first time in June 2015, which included an interactive world map. Including services in our understanding of trade with the rest of the world has become more important for trade negotiations, for understanding the most important currencies we trade in, and for government policy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and senior ministers reacted positively to this release.

We combined our two overseas trade indexes releases (prices and volumes) into one release in June 2015; and our producers price index, capital goods price index, and farm expenses price index into one Business Price Indexes release.

All these releases make it easier for customers to find related data, and tell a more comprehensive story of what is happening within a topic of interest. We achieved this improvement for customers with no changes to the surveys or the data collected.

Figure 5: Statistics NZ website visits 2011–15

Image, Statistics NZ website visits 2011–15.

Positioning to enable our vision

Our key focuses included:

A revised operating model

In response to the new strategic direction, we developed an operating model that supports and leverages our new roles. We refocused from linking closely to our output to a value-based approach with a customer focus.

In the coming year we will continue to build on this change to embed the revised operating model.

Improved programme and project-management practices

During 2014 the Enterprise Programme Office invested in improving our decision-making and the project/programme management of our investment portfolio. This resulted in greater maturity in these areas and the development of sound processes – such as a benefit management framework, our 2015/16 prioritisation process, and establishing the Investment Board to provide a corporate-wide view of our priorities and investment.

The Enterprise Design Authority (EDA) was established in 2014 to help us make tangible connections between strategic direction and design implementation. The EDA brings an organisation-wide perspective to design. The EDA has provided advice in two priority areas – administrative data and the Census Programme (on how to manage ‘digital first’ for the 2018 Census). The advice developed for both areas looks ahead and articulates where we want to be as an organisation.

Investing in our people

This year we supplemented our Leadership Behaviour Framework with a set of behaviours that measure and guide our responsiveness to Māori. These new behaviours are designed in three tiers: whaiwähi (participating), tukunga (driving), and whakamana (leading), reflecting the degree to which we require the organisation’s different roles to respond to Māori. We also developed Anga ki te Māori as a key resource for managers and staff to embed these new behaviours into the performance framework.

With the first part of Stats 2020 complete, we expect our workforce to contract gradually over the next two to three years. This results from: systems coming online that allow automated processes, a move away from face-to-face data collection, and our completing work on legacy systems. Originally we envisaged the transformation programme would result in a 17 percent reduction in our workforce over the 10 years to 2020. After our shift in strategic direction, we are re-evaluating our resourcing needs to ensure we fulfil our four roles of provider, enabler, innovator, and steward. Based on information to hand, we expect that our workforce reduction by 2020 will now be closer to 10 percent. We will refresh the Workforce Transition Plan during 2015 to document the expected changes in detail. This will include timeframes and expected effects on specific workforce groups. The organisation will have a suite of tools to measure and forecast our capability and capacity requirements over the short-, medium-, and long-term from 2016.

As part of a renewed focus on health, safety, and wellness (HS&W) across the organisation, we reviewed this area ahead of the legislative reform. As an outcome of the review, we established the HS&W Governance Group, including an external adviser and reporting to the Executive Leadership Team (ELT). The group provides the Chief Executive with assurance that HS&W matters are being managed effectively and efficiently and that risks in these areas are being identified and managed. A comprehensive review of all hazard registers has begun, and will inform the HS&W work programme for 2015/16. A particular focus is to manage the specific hazards and risks associated with field collections.

As an equal opportunities employer we continue to base all our appointments on merit, while recognising the employment aspirations of Māori, ethnic and minority groups, women, and people with disabilities.

Integrating of equality and diversity in the Public Service is a key aspect of strategic planning and performance, and our Chief Executive provides the lead in working towards this. Equality and diversity in the Public Service, as the State Sector Act 1988 requires, enables the best service to government and New Zealanders.

Increasing the pace of technology improvements

This year we moved towards a total Microsoft environment to lower support costs and improve integration. This included:

  • transferring the organisation’s intranet to a browser-based platform
  • migrating corporate email and calendars to Microsoft Exchange/Outlook.

By piloting a ‘rapid delivery’ approach for migrating corporate email and calendars, we achieved a successful delivery far more quickly than for similar past projects.

The final stage of this move is to adopt the All of Government (AoG) Enterprise Content Management as a Service platform. This project also had rapid delivery, moving from initial business case, through product selection, to build within six months. The platform will go live in the first half of 2015/16, with migration from our existing document management system complete by the end of 2015.

The migration of surveys to a web-based form included adopting the AoG Common Web Platform for web-hosting. The first, the Agricultural Survey, went live in July 2015. Further work is intended in this platform for the 2015/16 financial year.

As the lead agency for the CIGA programme, we did major strategic design work for the shared services model. The ICT component is based on a federated network model that uses the new AoG Telecommunications as a Service agreement, due in October 2015. This will enable activity-based working, via a mobile-first approach.

Work also began to update our ICT governance and processes. We implemented a new service management application that improved overall support to the ICT environment and enables better reporting and transparency.


Christchurch Integrated Government Accommodation

Image, Christchurch Integrated Government Accommodation.

The Canterbury earthquakes significantly affected Christchurch’s central business district.

The role of the Christchurch Integrated Government Accommodation (CIGA) is to provide office accommodation to government agencies in Christchurch.

The Property Management Centre of Expertise has negotiated development agreements and leases on behalf of the Crown. The implementation phase (fit-out, design, construction, and occupation) rests with appointed lead agencies.

Cashel Square Stage 1 is a Statistics NZ project that supports CIGA by relocating more than 400 Crown employees from eight agencies into the first building in the Christchurch Retail Precinct. Construction will be completed in December 2015.

As the lead agency for this $9.7 million development project, we have taken an innovative, collective, and collaborative approach to ensure that all opportunities and savings are realised.

Measuring the outcome for the Official Statistics System: An informed society using official statistics

The following information summarises key indicators under this outcome. The Statement of service performance provides further detail on performance against output-level performance targets and discusses activities in 2014/15.


Measure  Target/Baseline Result
Increase in the number of users of official statistics.

Maintain/improve on latest result.

Latest comparable results
2012 survey of use and trust (central government): 62% had used statistics in the last year.

Note: business results from the 2012 survey are not available.

2015 survey of use and trust (business and government):

61% of total respondents use Statistics NZ’s statistics

83% of central government

95% of local government

44% of business.

This measure is currently under review.

We are actively redesigning our products to make them more user-friendly and customer-focused. This should lead to greater use as they will be more accessible. For more information see Developing user-friendly products and services and 'Big Wednesday' and topic-based releases.

Increase the use of official statistics in central government decisions.  Identify and implement a method for monitoring official statistics use in central government. 

For more information on progress in this area see: Analysis for Outcomes and the IDI.

Ensure that the right statistical information is produced by the OSS to better support decision-making and understanding.

Obtain agreement on the implementation of the revised Tier 1 list, including the costing and development timeline.

Provide annual purchase advice, to the satisfaction of the Minister.

We secured funding to produce five of the eight unfunded Tier 1 statistics agreed by Cabinet in 2012. Of these five, Cabinet agreed to fund three National Accounts balance-sheet-related Tier 1 statistics – Institutional sector accounts, Gross domestic product (income), and Profit of industries – in Budget 2015.

Progress on developing Tier 1 statistics is reported six-monthly to the Minister of Statistics.

Effective 30 June 2015, 124 of the total of 162 Tier 1 statistics are in production (ie included in the ‘Classify’ or ‘Current’ Tier 1 groups). 

Ensure the OSS functions efficiently and effectively. 

Increase advice to OSS partners to increase their statistical capability, and progress exploration of potential shared infrastructure.

Continue to contribute to making government data more accessible and identify options for data integration and reuse. 

The OSS reference groups – Strategy and Technical – combined to form the OSS Network.

We are leading Action 3.1 building capability for data and analytics in the ICT strategy (see Information as a strategic asset).

We are working with LINZ on the All of Government shared capability for data exchange (a shared dissemination platform). This is an action from the ICT strategy (8.9).

The OSS Network has discussed how we could offer our statistical services to other agencies (eg classifications).

Measuring Statistics NZ's impact: New Zealand gets the statistical information it needs to grow and prosper

The following information summarises key indicators under this outcome. The Statement of service performance provides further detail on performance against output-level performance targets and discusses activities in 2014/15.


Measure  Target/Baseline Result
Use and trust survey 
Increase in the number of users who report that government has the information they need.

Maintain results but increase proportion of ‘almost always’.

Latest comparable results

2010 survey of use and trust (public):

96% of public users reported government has the information they need (48% almost always and 48% sometimes).

2011 survey (central government):

93% of central government users reported government has the information they need (35% almost always and 58% sometimes).

2014 survey (public):

93% of public users reported government has the information they need (43% almost always and 50% always).

Note: business results from the 2012 survey are not available.

18% of total respondents felt statistics we produce met their information needs ‘very well’.

28% of total respondents felt statistics we produce met their information needs ‘well’.

31% of total respondents felt statistics we produce met their information needs ‘adequately’.

Overall, 77% of respondents had their information needs met (ie adequately, well or very well).

Note: the 2014/15 survey asked a slightly different question from previous surveys.

This measure is under review.

Increase in the number of users who trust official statistics.

Maintain or improve result.

Maintain high level of trust compared with Europe and Australia.

Decrease gap between Māori and total proportion (not measured 2014/15). 

Latest comparable results

2010 survey of use and trust (public):

96% of public users trust official statistics (45% almost always and 41% sometimes).

2011 survey (central government):

88% of central government users trust official statistics (53% almost always and 35% sometimes).

85% of central government users trust our statistics (65% almost always and 20% sometimes).

2014 survey (public):

85% of public users trust official statistics (43% almost always and 42% sometimes).

Note: business results from the 2012 survey are not available.

25% of total respondents trusted statistics we produce ‘completely’.

57% of total respondents trusted statistics we produce ‘mostly’.

Overall, 82% of respondents trusted statistics we produce (ie mostly or completely).

Compared with Europe and Australia

Australia: Community Trust in ABS Statistics Survey (CTASS) 2010:

87% of respondents said they tended to trust or greatly trust ABS statistics.

Europe: Eurobarometer 2009 – Europeans’ opinions on the trustworthiness of official statistics:

46% “tend not to trust them”.

44% ‘tend to trust them’ (Highest: Sweden and Denmark – 70% Lowest: UK – 33%).

10% were unable to form an opinion.

Note: Ethnicity of respondents not sought for 2015 survey. This question is asked when we do the public survey (every three years – next one 2016/17) and compared to the last time we did the public survey.

Note: the 2014/15 survey asked a slightly different question from previous surveys.

This measure is under review.

Increase in the number of people aware of official statistics. 

Improve proportion of respondents who are aware of our statistics.

Decrease the gap between Māori and the total proportion of respondents (not measured 2014/15).

Latest comparable results

2010 survey of use and trust (public):

61% of public users were aware of Statistics NZ statistics, 45% were aware of other government departments’ statistics.

2011 survey (central government):

83% of central government users were aware of our statistics.

2014 survey (public):

61% of public users were aware of our statistics, 45% were aware of other government departments’ statistics.

Note: business results from the 2012 survey are not available.

8% of total respondents felt they knew a ‘great deal’ about Statistics NZ.

38% of total respondents felt they knew a ‘fair amount’ about us.

Overall, 45% of total respondents felt they knew a ‘great deal’ or a ‘fair amount’ about us.

Note: Ethnicity of respondents not sought for the 2015 survey. This question is asked when we do the public survey (every three years – next one 2016/17) and compared with the last time we did the public survey.

Note: the 2014/15 survey asked a slightly different question.

This measure is under review.  

Increase in user satisfaction with accessibility of statistics.

Maintain or improve results.

Latest comparable results

2010 survey of use and trust (public):

87% of public users felt it was very easy or fairly easy to access our statistics (24% very easy and 63% fairly easy).

2011 survey (central government):

61% of central government users felt it was very easy or fairly easy to access our statistics (6% very easy and 55% fairly easy).

2014 survey (public):

91% of public users felt it was very easy or fairly easy to access our statistics (25% very easy and 66% fairly easy).

Note: business results from the 2012 survey are not available.

6% of total respondents felt it was ‘very easy’ to find statistics we produce.

45% of total respondents felt it was ‘fairly easy’ to find statistics we produce.

Overall, 51% of total respondents felt it was ‘very easy’ or ‘fairly easy’ to find statistics produced by Statistics NZ.

Note: the 2014/15 survey asked a slightly different question from previous surveys.

This measure is under review.  

Tier 1 principles and protocols

Producers of Tier 1 statistics comply with the OSS’s Principles and Protocols.

Statistics NZ surveys departments’ compliance with each of the OSS Principles and Protocols for Tier 1 Statistics.

Agencies that had not complied with aspects of these protocols had improved their practices.

We provided advice to Tier 1 statistics producers on adherence to the principles and protocols on an ‘as needed’ basis during 2014/15.

To date, the majority of agencies complied with the protocols assessed, as reported in previous annual reports.

Work began during 2014/15 on refreshing the ‘Guidance on Principles and Protocols for Producers of Tier 1 Statistics’; we started a project to develop a new approach to monitoring Tier 1 statistics producers’ adherence to principles and protocols. We discussed both projects with the OSS Network – a group of statistics managers/advisers from Tier 1 statistics-producing agencies. 

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