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Government Chief Data Steward (GCDS)

The Government Chief Data Steward role supports the use of data as a resource across government to help deliver better services to New Zealanders. It’s held by the Chief Executive of Stats NZ Mark Sowden.

Data has the power to change lives and create better outcomes for New Zealanders by informing government policy and decision-making.

Government holds a vast amount of data on behalf of New Zealanders.  This data has the potential to be a valuable asset both for government, and outside of government, driving innovation and contributing to economic, social, and environmental progress.

The States Services Commissioner has assigned the Chief Executive of Stats NZ to the role of Government Chief Data Steward (GCDS) to support the government's priority to get more value from data.

At the heart of this work is transparency around how government uses the data it holds on behalf of New Zealanders.

The GCDS leads by facilitating and enabling a joined-up approach across government.  As well as developing policy and infrastructure, the GCDS provides support and guidance so agencies can use data effectively, while maintaining the trust and confidence of New Zealanders.

The GCDS is:

  • Setting the strategic direction for government's data management
  • Leading New Zealand's state sector's response to new and emerging data issues
  • Co-developing a Data Stewardship Framework to enable agencies to manage data as a strategic asset and benchmark their data maturity
  • Leading the government's commitment to accelerating the release of open data.


Find out more about the GCDS