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Government response to the recommendations of the New Zealand Data Futures Forum

There is huge potential to create more value from New Zealand’s data assets through data-driven insights and innovation. This paper proposes actions to deliver greater data-driven social and economic value for New Zealand by enabling a data-use environment based on the principles of value, trust, inclusion and control.

This paper was prepared by Statistics NZ, in partnership with the Department of Internal Affairs, Land Information NZ, the Ministry of Justice, and the Treasury. It draws on the work of the NZ Data Futures Forum which was informed by active engagement with business, non-governmental organisations, the research community, Māori, interested members of the public and government.

Background – the New Zealand Data Futures Forum

Safely sharing and using data has the potential to improve lives, deliver economic growth, and support an efficient and transparent public sector. The potential for New Zealand to unlock the value of data-driven innovation and build on strong foundations of inclusion, trust, and control is unlimited.

In 2014 the Ministers of Finance and Statistics established the New Zealand Data Futures Forum to explore the future of data-sharing between the public and private sectors.

In July 2014 the Forum produced a set of recommendations about how New Zealand can safely manage and optimise data use. The Forum’s recommendations were based on four principles: value, inclusion, trust, and control.

Lead agencies (Statistics NZ, Land Information New Zealand, Ministry of Justice and the Department of Internal Affairs) spent the latter half of 2014 coordinating individual agencies’ responses to this work. This culminated in the development of a paper to Cabinet outlining options to progress this work.

Find out more about the New Zealand Data Futures Forum.

Government response

In February 2015, Cabinet approved a paper which directed the lead agencies to advance work on four priority areas:

  • Explore the potential value of an independent data council which could lead, support and advocate for data use
  • Review the policy and legislative environment to ensure it supports better use of data 
  • Launch catalyst projects supporting collaboration between public and private sectors
  • Encourage Government agencies to continue to open up data to the public.

This programme of work builds on the thinking done by the Forum and has explored how their recommendations can be implemented. Driving social and economic value from data requires a collective effort across the public, private, and NGO sectors. Working collaboratively and in partnerships has been key to developing and progressing this work.

This collaboration has resulted in the development of advice to Ministers, who will decide on next steps in July 2015.

For more information contact

Page updated 2 July 2015

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