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4 Legislation relevant to source data collections

This privacy impact assessment (PIA) has been prepared in the interests of transparency and openness.

Data matched in this data integration are farmer and farm, using names and addresses. Many farmers are sole traders. Privacy impact analysis (as set out in this PIA) is not required for data from sole traders who provide information in a business capacity.

However, this PIA has been prepared to assess and fully document the privacy impacts of the data integration outlined in this assessment.

Environmental Reporting Bill

The Environmental Reporting Bill (ERB) is expected to become law before the end of 2015. The purpose of this Bill is to create a national-level environmental reporting system to ensure that reporting on our environment occurs on a regular basis and can be trusted by the public as independent, fair, and accurate.

Clause 3: Purpose

The purpose, as set out in clause 3 of the ERB, is to require regular reports on New Zealand’s environment.

Clause 7: Content of synthesis reports

Synthesis reports must describe the state of New Zealand’s environment, pressures that may be causing, or have the potential to cause, changes to the state of New Zealand’s environment, and impacts that the state of New Zealand’s environment may be having on certain matters.

Clause 13: Roles of Secretary and Government Statistician

In producing and publishing an environmental report, the Secretary [for the Environment] and the Government Statistician must utilise the expertise of the Ministry and Statistics NZ.

Statistics Act 1975

Statistics NZ operates under the Statistics Act 1975. As such, all data integration activities that Statistics NZ undertake must adhere to the requirements of this Act.

Sections of the Statistics Act 1975 that are of specific relevance to data integration activities include the following:

Section 3: Official statistics and coordination

Official statistics must be collected to provide the information that is required by the New Zealand Government, local authorities, and businesses to help make policy decisions. Official statistics must enable the government, government departments, local authorities, and the general public to understand economic, social, demographic, and other information of interest.

Section 15: Independence of the Government Statistician

The Government Statistician has the sole responsibility for deciding the procedures and methods used to produce statistics. This includes data integration.

Section 37: Security of information

Data can only be accessed for statistical purposes and there are strict rules about how information is to be kept confidential.

Section 21: Declaration of secrecy

All personnel who access respondent information must keep this information secret for their lifetime.

Privacy Act 1993

The Privacy Act 1993 contains 12 privacy principles that set out how agencies may collect, store, use, and disclose personal information. Personal information relates to identifiable, living individuals.

All data integration activities we undertake must adhere to the requirements of the Privacy Act 1993. The Act aims to uphold public trust in government by regulating the practice of data integration in the public sector.

Sections of the Privacy Act 1993 that are of specific relevance to data integration activities include the following:

Principle 1: Purpose of collection of personal information

Agencies must have a lawful purpose to collect information and it must be necessary to fulfil this purpose. Statistics NZ has a lawful purpose under the Statistics Act 1975 to integrate datasets to produce statistics.

Principle 2: Source of personal information

This principle requires information to be collected directly from the source. Statistics NZ meets the exceptions that allow the organisation to use data collected by other agencies (eg from Inland Revenue). This is because the data will be used for statistical or research purposes [Principle 10 (f)(i)] and it will not be published in a way that could identify the individual [Principle 10 (f)(ii)].

Principle 12: Unique identifiers

This principle requires that an agency does not assign a unique identifier that has been assigned to an individual by another agency (eg an IRD number assigned by Inland Revenue). Current practice at Statistics NZ is that unique identifiers assigned by other agencies are used at the time of construction of the integrated datasets, but are not retained permanently in the datasets. The original unique identifiers for persons represented in the original datasets are removed. The final datasets contain (anonymised) unit records identified only through a Statistics NZ unique reference.

Public Records Act 2005

The Public Records Act 2005 sets out requirements for creating and maintaining adequate records of the business of public offices, including Statistics NZ.

All source data for integration and resulting integrated datasets must be retained or disposed of according to the requirements of the agreement between Statistics NZ and the Chief Archivist, authorised under section 20 of the Public Records Act 2005. Disposal schedules govern what data must be preserved, and what can be destroyed when no longer needed for statistical purposes.

Biosecurity Act 1993

The Biosecurity Act 1993 provides for excluding, eradicating and managing pests and unwanted organisms. To administer the Act, FarmsOnLine maintains a biosecurity database that may include names, addresses, and other personal contact details. The information is used in the event of a biosecurity threat (eg an outbreak of disease) or rural emergency (eg flood). Section 142C(1)(b) of the Act provides for the Director-General of the Ministry for Primary Industries to authorise access to data in the biosecurity database that is publicly available

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