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How to respond to a data request

You can respond to data requests by using the tools found on data.govt.nz and following the processes described here. If your organisation is subject to the Official Information Act, remember that data requests may fall under that act. 

What is a data request?

Anyone can use the data request form to request data from a government organisation in Aotearoa NZ. If data.govt.nz's open data catalogue already has the data they are after, then we will direct them to the relevant dataset listing. However, if the data isn't in the catalogue, then we will send the data request to the government organisation most likely to have it.  

Data request form

The team at data.govt.nz moderates all data requests and responses from government organisations before publicly posting them on this website.  

Official Information Act

If your organisation is subject to the Official Information Act, this request may fall under that act. In that case, you will have to respond 'as soon as reasonably practicable' and no later than 20 working days after you get the request, unless you have extended the time limit for response.

A response needs to include either the data that was requested or valid reasons that the data cannot be provided. 

Guidance on responding to Official Information Act requests

How best to share or release data in response 

We also recommend that your response follows the NZGOAL framework and the related government policies.

New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing framework (NZGOAL)
Declaration on Open and Transparent Government
New Zealand Data and Information Management Principles

How do I respond?

If we direct the data request to your organisation, then you will get an email notification. After getting that email notification you will need to take the following steps:

  1. Under the heading 'For your action', select the unique link provided. This will take you to the response page on data.govt.nz.
  2. On that page, under the heading 'Agency Response', you can enter your response by choosing a status, entering further contact information, and any comments.
  3. After choosing your response, select 'update'.

What happens after you respond?

The team at data.govt.nz will moderate your response and publicly post it on this website. Both the person who originally requested the data and anyone who subscribed to updates on that request will get a notification of your response.

Depending on how you responded and whether your organisation is subject to Official Information Act requests, you may have to take follow-up steps, such as sharing the data, openly releasing the data, listing the data on the open data catalogue, or forwarding the request to another government organisation. 

If the data request relates to open data, we suggest that you list the data on our data catalogue. In the future, people will be able to find your data themselves using the data catalogue and an official data request won't be needed. 

What is open data?
Adding datasets to data.govt.nz

If you decide to transfer the data request to another organisation, then you have to do so in less than 10 working days.

Contact us

If you need any further advice on responding to a data request specifically, contact info@data.govt.nz.

If you’d like more information, have a question, or want to provide feedback on this page, email datalead@stats.govt.nz.

Content last reviewed 18 November 2020.

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