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Data content standardisation

Data content standardisation enables more effective and efficient sharing of data across the Aotearoa NZ government, within existing privacy and security settings. Data content requirements establish consistent ways for collecting, formatting, recording, and/or storing information across government.

Why are data content standards important?

Data collected across government has not been designed consistently or managed with all-of-government needs in mind. This means when we try to share data (for multiple reasons and only where permitted and safe to do so) it can be very difficult to do.

Standardisation establishes consistent ways for describing and recording data across organisations. Data content standardisation aims to provide a reliable and consistent basis for the New Zealand data system to:

  • maximise the value of data
  • create a more complete view to inform government policy and investment decisions
  • enable information sharing and reconciling the data faster and more efficiently.

What are data content requirements? 

Government data content standardisation

As the functional lead for data, the Government Chief Data Steward (GCDS) is working across government to co-design, develop, and implement short data content standardisation, tapping into specialised expertise. The GCDS has the authority to set mandatory requirements across government.

Government Chief Data Steward
Co-designing requirements across government

Once approved, data content requirements are mandatory for New Zealand government organisations that share electronic data containing the data concept in the data content standard. (Government organisations refers to the State sector Public Service departments and departmental organisations as specified in schedules 1 and 1A of the State Sector Act 1988.)

The government data content standardisation design process also provides opportunities to improve connections across government organisations and increase knowledge about common data problems.

Register of government data content requirements

Other standards resources

Standards New Zealand
A business unit within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, which specialises in managing the development of standards. They also publish and sell NZ, joint Australia-NZ, and international standards.

Stats NZ: Standards and classifications
Information about the standards and classifications Stats NZ use and maintain, news about reviews, and tools to help classify and code responses.

Government digital standards catalogue
Formerly known as the Government Enterprise Architecture for NZ (GEA-NZ) standards reference, the government digital standards is a catalogue of digital standards and related guidance that can be used by NZ government agencies.

Health Information Standards Organisation (HISO)
This organisations supports and promotes the development and adoption of fit-for-purpose health information standards for the NZ health system.

Contact us

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

Content last reviewed 11 January 2021. 

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