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Defining and managing Tier 1 statistics

The following framework outlines the definitions used to establish and maintain the Tier 1 list of statistics and the arrangements that support and underpin its management.

Read the framework below, or download Defining and managing Tier 1 Statistics from 'Available files'.

What is Tier 1?

Tier 1 statistics are the most important statistics, essential to understand how well New Zealand is performing and to inform critical decisions. The Tier 1 list is an enduring, coherent set of these statistics.

Why identify a Tier 1 list?

Designating a portfolio of Tier 1 statistics:

  • ensures that we focus on the most important statistics for New Zealand; 
  • enables the prioritisation and rationalisation of statistical investment and effort across the Official Statistics System, to ensure that a set of the most important statistics are produced; and 
  • ensures that Tier 1 statistics are of the highest quality and can be relied on as authoritative, relevant and trustworthy.

Which criteria are used to determine importance?

Importance is decided by whether a statistic meets one or more of the following criteria:

  1. The most important statistics for meeting public expectations of authoritative and trustworthy information about their country and to inform significant private and business decisions. 
  2. The statistics of highest value in informing debate and decisions on issues of national importance and monitoring the outcomes of those decisions.
  3. The statistics which are required for administration of legislation, operating important government funding and allocation models, or meeting government’s international commitments.

What are the characteristics of Tier 1 statistics?

  1. Tier 1 statistics need to be relevant, authoritative and trustworthy, provide long-term continuity of statistical information, and enable international comparability. 
  2. The portfolio of Tier 1 statistics may include:
  • existing measures – statistics which are underpinned by a credible statistical measurement framework; and
  • candidates for Tier 1 - statistics where the statistical measurement framework is still under development and is expected to be finalised in the next five years.

3.    A Tier 1 statistic can be either a single statistic or a specified set of statistics.

How is Tier 1 managed?

  1. Tier 1 is managed as part of the Official Statistics System (OSS), led by the Government Statistician and overseen by the OSS Chief Executives Steering Group and the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Official Statistics. 
  2. The investment in Tier 1 statistics is managed through the Government Statistician’s annual purchase advice and normal Budget processes. 
  3. The quality of Tier 1 statistics is managed through the application of the Principles and Protocols for Producers of Tier 1 Statistics
  4. The relevance of the Tier 1 list is managed through scheduled five-yearly review. 

Government Statistician's purchase advice role

The Government Statistician, in conjunction with the Official Statistics System (OSS) Chief Executives Steering Group, provides annual OSS purchase advice to the Minister of Finance. This purchase advice comments on all government’s statistical investments across the OSS, to ensure spending is targeted toward priority areas (with Tier 1 statistics representing government’s highest priority statistics).

This advice does not alter Ministers' control of changes to investments through the normal Budget decision-making; rather it supplements that decision-making and ensures cross-vote consideration of priorities for investment in statistics.

In 2012, Cabinet approved a new Tier 1 Statistics list, which includes some statistics that are not currently funded. The process for identifying funding sources for Tier 1 statistics that cannot be covered by existing departmental appropriations will be via the Government Statistician’s annual purchase advice.

For Budget 2013, this will focus on redirecting existing lower priority statistical investment, or other statistical savings identified, towards the agreed Tier 1 development priorities. Any proposals for reprioritisation between Votes, or for additional expenditure, will be brought before Ministers for a decision through the normal Budget processes. 

Back to Tier 1 statistics

Download or print the PDF from the 'Available files' box. If you have problems viewing the files, see opening files and PDFs.

Page published 28 September 2012

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