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Open Data Charter implementation plan

This page outlines the Open Data Charter implementation plan for Aotearoa NZ. It covers our obligations as a signatory, the timeline of work included in the plan and the goals of the first iteration of the implementation plan.

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What is the Open Data Charter?

The international Open Data Charter (the Charter) is a collaboration between 150 governments and organisations working to open up data based on a shared set of principles.

Open data charter – blog
The open data charter principles – ODC website

What are New Zealand's obligations to the Charter?

Having signed up to the Charter, Aotearoa NZ has to publish an up-to-date implementation plan.  Stats NZ, through the Chief Executive and Government Chief Data Steward (GCDS), is responsible for this plan. We also need to publicly report on our progress on a regular basis. The reason for publishing this plan is to make the progress of our commitments to the Charter accessible to the public.

New Zealand adopts the international Open Data Charter– blog

What will the plan achieve?

In publishing this plan, we seek to raise awareness of the Charter and Aotearoa NZ's obligations to it. We also aim to streamline open data engagement between Stats NZ and other government agencies to ensure there is opportunity for these agencies to contribute to this work. This will help to achieve more comparable and interoperable data across government by establishing a solid communication channel.

This implementation plan covers a 6-month period from 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2021.

Implementation plan

Progress report

Focusing on one principle

We will initially focus on principle 4 of the Charter: comparable and interoperable. This principle is about ensuring data can be easily compared between sectors, across geographical locations, and over time. It highlights the importance of standardisation, consistent formats, accessible metadata and good documentation to enable interoperability and ease of data integration.

Why principle 4?

We have chosen this principle as it is foundational to several other Charter principles. Having data that is comparable and interoperable and putting the data management practices in place to achieve this, sets the base for other principles to be more easily achieved.

Encouraging the use of consistent formats and standardisation will also contribute to the principle of data being accessible and useable (Principle 3 – Accessible and Useable). Accessible metadata and documentation enable users to understand and make the most of available data (Principle 2 - Timely and comprehensive). Having datasets that can be easily integrated also creates opportunity for collaboration between agencies and increased re-use by a wider audience (Principle 6 - For inclusive development and innovation).

What happened to the Open Government Data and Information Programme?

The Open Government Data and Information Programme finished on June 30th, 2020. But, previous versions of the Open Data Charter action plan and implementation plan can still be found on 

An Open Data Sun Rises, As Another Sets – blog
Previous New Zealand open data action plan

What does this mean for my work?

This implementation plan contains activities within Stats NZ that improve comparability and interoperability of data. The plan also includes developing an engagement plan that details how we will communicate with other government agencies in Aotearoa NZ about open data.

It is our goal through this plan to assist alignment of existing work across government departments of Aotearoa NZ to the Charter. If you are working on something that aligns with at least one of the Charter principles, we want to hear from you.

Contact us

If you’d like more information, have a question, or want to provide feedback, email

Content last reviewed 28 March 2022.