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Open Data Day 2019 – a New Zealand-wide event

Open Data Day Wellington 2019 attendees. Credit aimee whitcroft.

Open Data Day 2019 – a New Zealand-wide event

On 2 March this year, New Zealand joined the rest of the world in celebrating International Open Data Day. Groups around the world come together to take part in local events where they use open data in and for their communities, to solve local challenges, explore exciting opportunities and more.

Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington all took part in the day.



In Dunedin, people spent a productive afternoon making tutorials to help people get started with using NZ open data sources.

You can find all the tutorials in the NZ data examples repo on GitHub.

NZ data examples Github repo (GitHub)

How are people using open data? (Blog post about the repo.)

Read more about the Dunedin Open Data Day event



Christchurch came together over lunchtime to talk through some data case studies.

First, they discussed Michael Lewis’ The Fifth Risk: “a great example of how organisations have been building up data over the past few decades, and also the tale about the origin of the term data scientist/science.”, says organiser Alex Lam.

 Afterwards, they talked about Bad Blood – a book covering the story of biotech startup Theranos – and the media industry, as examples of how preventing public examination of data can cause negative outcomes.

Read more about the Christchurch Open Data Day event



In Wellington, people joined us from as far away as Auckland and Hawkes Bay. We formed into 4 groups to spend a day working on various aspects of open data.

One group focused on finding and visualising data on career shortages around NZ, looking into why the shortages might exist. Another started an ongoing project to make easier to explore.

The third group worked on improving information about landlords, to help empower tenants. And the final group wrote detailed user feedback for, as well as developing a proof-of-concept API to help explore the site’s data catalogue.

Read more about the Wellington Open Data Day event


All 3 events got great feedback. As a Wellington participant said:

“As a first timer I found it informative and pretty relaxed - I was a bit worried it would be too geeky for me. However, it was great to see the range of people it attracted, and the variety of things being considered - from the philosophical question of ’who owns the data’ to ‘can I produce a list of landlords?’.”

Stay tuned for an upcoming edition of the podcast Access Granted to hear interviews with people at the Wellington event.

Access Granted


You can read more about the day, and what people spoke about and made, in the collaborative notes we took.

Open Data Day NZ collaborative notes (Google docs)


We all had a great time, and we’re looking forward to more open data events this year! There are currently 4 open data meetups around New Zealand, with more on the way. They’re open to everyone, and we’d love to see you there.


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