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1 Purpose and conclusion

This project is cancelled. The project has proved to be more complex and problematic, and of less value, than first envisaged. Data created as a result of this project will be destroyed, consistent with Statistics NZ’s policy of only retaining integrated data sets where there is future value in them.

Purpose

Agricultural land database matching and data integration: Privacy impact assessment considers the risks associated with integrating and matching agricultural land databases that are to be used to provide new insights into relationships between agricultural land use and freshwater quality changes in New Zealand.

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 in the interests of transparency and openness. It identifies potential risks to individual privacy that may result from:

  • integrating several agricultural land databases of farms in New Zealand
  • creating a spatial map of New Zealand farms and their proximity to rivers, lakes, and groundwater of known quality.

Conclusion

This privacy impact assessment (PIA) concludes that:

  • the value of information on changes in agricultural land use and water quality in New Zealand is high
  • information on changes in agricultural land use and water quality will benefit a wide range of New Zealanders with a stake in agricultural land use and freshwater quality management, and better inform decision-making.

Overall, the value and benefits of this data integration are clear, and the privacy, security, and confidentiality risks can be appropriately mitigated.

This data integration is undertaken for statistical purposes only and information will be published in the first Freshwater Domain Report due in 2016 as part of New Zealand’s Environmental Reporting Series, or sooner if the information is ready well ahead of the report.

The Freshwater Domain Report will be jointly produced and published by Statistics NZ and the Ministry for the Environment. The new statistics developed in this data integration will enable the Government Statistician and the Secretary for the Environment to meet their reporting requirements set out in the Environmental Reporting Bill.

Results from this data integration will be published at regional and national level, at the sole discretion of Statistics NZ, providing they meet Statistics NZ’s strict confidentiality provisions to protect the identity and location of farms.

Datasets created during this integration will be retained in the long-term and will be used by Statistics NZ for ongoing three-yearly updates. They may also be used for newly planned research. The use of the aggregated data for purposes not already defined in this PIA will require a new PIA to be completed. Statistics NZ will be the final custodian of these datasets.

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