Skip to content

For everything you need to know about COVID-19, go to

Unite against COVID-19

What are data content standards?

Data content standards aim to enable the sharing of data more efficiently and effectively across the New Zealand government, within existing privacy and security settings.

Data content standards establish a consistent way for collecting, formatting, recording, and/or storing information across government. The purpose of the standard may vary depending on what the standard covers.

For example, there are many ways of collecting date of birth but the various ways it is formatted causes confusion for government agencies sharing this data. The data content standard for date of birth focuses on the format for agency sharing but does not cover collection.

In contrast to this, the way that person name is collected is vitally important to the way it can be shared. If person name is collected as a free text string it is difficult to then break it into ‘given name’ and ‘family name’. As with date of birth, this data content standard focuses on the format for sharing, but will also have implications for the way person name is collected.

Where possible, data content standards reference existing standards, including a range of international, local, and statistical standards. The data content standards may also include links to other helpful guidelines.

Register of government data content standards

Contact us

If you would like to know more, please email


Last updated 5 December 2019