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2014 report on adoption of the Declaration

The 2014 Report on Agency Adoption of the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government was released by the Honourable Michael Woodhouse, Minister for Land Information, following Cabinet approval (ref SEC minute (14) 11/9), on 9 July 2014.

2014 Report on agency adoption of the New Zealand Declaration on Open and Transparent Government [PDF 640 KB]

Cabinet Paper: Release of the 2014 report on agency adoption of the New Zealand Declaration on Open and Transparent Government [PDF 350 KB]

SEC Min (14) 11/9 [PDF 144 KB]

He noted that "government agencies are increasingly releasing public non-personal data in open formats for reuse,” and that “In turn, third parties are using that public data in increasingly innovative ways – creating a raft of new products, tools and services for use by industry and the wider public."

Cabinet Minute (14) 28/11 requested a further report back to Cabinet regarding accelerating the release of public data (15 August 2014).

CAB Min (14) 28/11 [PDF 28 KB]

Cabinet Paper: Accelerating the release of public data - report back on actions to increase uptake and address barriers [PDF 192 KB] 


Other documents

Survey on adoption of the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government - 2014 [PDF 626 KB]

2014 future releases [CSV 9 KB]

2014 main responses [CSV 94 KB]

2014 progress comparison [CSV 3 KB]

2014 released [CSV 22 KB]

2014 response summary [CSV 2 KB]


Report contents

Executive summary


Third party re-use and engagement with stakeholders

Central government's progress on releasing public data

Progress towards greater efficiencies for departments

Declaration adoption by the wider public sector

Alignment and delivery of programme

Next steps


Executive summary

1. The Declaration on Open and Transparent Government, approved by Cabinet in August 2011 [Cab Min (11) 29/12 refers], requires departments to release their high value public data for re-use by third parties. Cabinet anticipated that this re-use would result in increased economic and social value through the creation of new tools, products and knowledge, more efficient government through appropriate sharing and alignment of data activities, and increased transparency of government and participation in policy development.

2. This 2014 report sets out progress made by public service departments and the wider public sector in supplying public data for re-use, how third parties are re-using the data and the impact of that re-use.

3. Active public data supply is becoming business as usual for most central government departments and has put New Zealand in the top international rankings for implementation of open data programmes. The 32 central government departments are increasingly seeking and responding to user and stakeholder demand for open data. The wider public sector, such as Crown Research Institutes, local government, Crown Agents, universities and school Boards of Trustees, are also moving to adopt the Declaration.

4. More sophisticated re-use of open data is solving a range of economic and social challenges, improving agencies’ efficiency and providing greater scrutiny of government’s performance. Re-use ranges from travel logistics in Christchurch to monitoring competitiveness by port companies; creating customised property reports to insightful news and social media coverage of issues; from finding schools to interactive children’s educational history stories.

5. Progress in 2014 has varied. The majority of departments have improved their data release processes in response to user feedback or for business efficiency purposes. Departmental stakeholder engagement has also increased. However, departments need to be more vigilant about publicising their datasets on and applying the required Creative Commons licensing statements to their open data and publications to allow innovative third party re-use. The third of departments that advised that sustained progress was constrained by resourcing may need to ensure their business as usual priorities include high-value public data release.

6. The efficiency gains that most (72%) departments are experiencing from re-using other agencies’ data are the highlight of this report, though more metrics are necessary to quantify the gains. Data release is also starting to impact on the nature of Official Information Act requests. It is reducing requests in some departments, but also increasing demand for more detailed data and raising expectations that data will be proactively released.

7. Departments with important restricted datasets are releasing this data in secure environments to authorised and trusted users. This is an unexpected consequence of applying the Declaration and is valuable for policy advice and Better Public Service outcomes.

8. Over 2014/15 the Programme Secretariat will intensify its support for data-rich departments by actively promoting the regular exposure of released datasets on, release of datasets requested by users on, wider adoption of re-use licensing statements, and working with agencies to better track the benefits from the re-use of public data, and with potential users to identify priority data for them and raise demand for public data.



9. The Declaration on Open and Transparent Government [1], (the Declaration) approved by Cabinet in August 2011, requires departments to release their high value data for re-use. It anticipated that the private and community sectors could use high value public data “to grow the economy, strengthen our social and cultural fabric, and sustain our environment”. Cabinet also wished to “encourage business and community involvement in government decision-making”. It anticipated “a more efficient and accountable public sector, more services tailored to citizen needs, and a greater level of participation in shaping government decisions”.

10. Public service departments were directed to adopt the Declaration and apply the New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing framework (NZGOAL) [2]. Other agencies across the public sector were encouraged or invited to do so. An aggregated progress report is presented to Ministers annually based on departments’ survey responses.

11. This work constitutes Action 13 of the Government ICT Strategy and Action Plan to 2017, approved by Cabinet in June 2013 [3]. It also complements the Better Public Services (BPS) [4] programme, in particular, ensuring that progress reports are published, along with the raw data.

12. The programme was recognised internationally when New Zealand was ranked 4th out of 77 countries in the 2013 Open Data Barometer for open data readiness, implementation and re-use impact [5].

13. The Open Government Data Chief Executives’ Governance Group and a new Open Government Data Steering Group govern the work programme [6].

14. Thirty-two public or non-public service departments received the survey, covering the same questions as in 2012 and 2013, plus new questions about stakeholder engagement, data release processes, metrics and restricted data. There was a 100% response [7]. This year, the analysis assessed progress in adopting more open formats for released datasets.

15. The 2014 report describes the impact of public data re-use by third parties, engagement with stakeholders, trends in data release since 2011, agencies’ adoption of the Declaration and programme links with other open data initiatives. Finally, it outlines the programme’s next steps.


Third party re-use and engagement with stakeholders

16. Third party re-use of open data has continued in 2014, with a similar number of new and diverse examples to those reported in 2013, contributing to economic, social, efficiency and transparency outcomes. Many departments are using existing forums to engage with stakeholders on open data matters and consolidate this into their normal business processes.


Impact of public data release for re-use

17.  Table 1 below shows an increase in datasets released in open formats and with Creative Commons licenses that allow legal re-use [8]. Publicising new or updated datasets on has declined. Departments continue to expect their data releases will progress the Programme’s economic, social and efficiency outcomes, rather than illustrate government’s performance (the Programme’s transparency outcome).These outcomes are defined in Appendix One.


Comparison (bar chart) of data supply and impact trends 2012-2014

Table 1: Data supply and impact trends 2012-2014


18. Data supply and impact trends 2012 to 2014 The Canterbury Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) Programme at Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) provides the most diverse examples of engagement with stakeholders and active third party re-use of public data. Open data has been critical in addressing clearly understood traveller information issues following the Canterbury earthquakes. The SDI Programme’s open data workstream has engaged extensively with the community [9], holding regular hackathons to progress data release and application development, and Mashup 2013, an event for 40 secondary school students building startup ideas around open data.

19. The outcomes of this work to date include:

  • OpenStreetMap: a low cost project to improve the quality of the wider Christchurch OpenStreetMap routing network;
  • Omega Tech: developing a message system that alerts users to changes on the road network based on their commonly travelled routes; and
  • TravelPort: developing a ride sharing service using road closure and congestion data to drive efficiencies into their routing.

20. There is good evidence that the business, community and public sectors are re-using public data for economic and social benefit, to create information sharing efficiencies and to illustrate government’s performance [10]. Significant examples during 2013/14 are:

Realising economic benefit

  • Mogeo, an app developer, is growing its business using government open data, either through its own needs analysis (Campermate) or on contract to government departments (e.g., NZ Fishing Rules, MarineMate);
  •, developed by a real estate company, allows the public to monitor property-related leaderboards (using data from Wellington City Council, LINZ and Ministry of Education (MoE));
  • industry groups use the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) geoscience and minerals data;
  • Napier City Council’s ‘GIS Napier’, a free online map viewer, re-uses data downloaded from LINZ’s Data Service (LDS), along with its own data;
  • Rural Evaluation (REV) online tool bases its custom-designed maps on the LINZ Data Service, including receiving weekly automatic updates; and
  • port companies use Ministry of Transport’s (MoT) Freight Information system to monitor their own freight processes against competitors.

Realising social benefit

  • from Wellington City Council’s geospatial data: public toilets, online sculpture tours, tsunami evacuation zones, 3D visualisation;
  • school profile information from MoE is used to find a nearby school in; and
  • children's educational story, an online interactive format (, uses content from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage’s (MCH) online encyclopaedia, Te Ara, and other agencies.

Realising efficiencies

  • (Land Air Water Aotearoa) re-uses national river condition data from the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) and water quality data from regional councils to present visualisations for users; and
  • re-use of Environment Canterbury’s open and real time public transport data to develop apps improves travel around Christchurch.

Illustrating transparency


Engagement with stakeholders

21. This 2014 survey investigated departments’ engagement with their key stakeholders to identify what they consider to be high value public data and resultant actions.

22. Seventeen (53%) departments engaged with stakeholders during the year, including with other departments and public sector agencies as stakeholders, as well as with the public. Public data releases resulting from this engagement include:

  • development of specifications for a new 'Find an ECE Service' feature on the Education Counts website (MoE);
  • a Greater Christchurch recovery quarterly data forum for stakeholders in the wider Canterbury rebuild; negotiations with EQC to ensure the release of useful geophysical data; and negotiations with urban development strategy partners to promote the release of high value datasets used in policy formulation (Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA));
  • changes to existing practices (e.g., creation of different data outputs by MoT; liaising on environmental reporting data by MfE); and
  • release of the tax 'Confidentialised Unit Record File' for use by authorised researchers, as part of the expansion of data sharing between agencies (Inland Revenue (IR) and Statistics New Zealand (Stats NZ)).

23. Departments identified active future plans for engagement including:

  • surveying key stakeholders and users (LINZ, Stats NZ, Ministry of Pacific Islands Affairs (MPIA), Parliamentary Counsel Office (PCO));
  • sector wide engagement, e.g.:
    • with users of the Justice Datalab (Department of Corrections (Corrections) and Ministry of Justice (MoJ));
    • a collaborative approach to using knowledge and information that will include its release and availability to the wider public (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT));
    • redevelopment of The Social Report (Ministry of Social Development (MSD));
  • inter-agency discussions on release of:
  • unclaimed money data (Treasury);
    • Police data into the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) [11] with Stats NZ and Treasury (NZ Police (Police)); and 
  • developing a stakeholder engagement plan (Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)).

24. Some departments with sensitive data that indicate that engagement is constrained by an inability to release more data (eg, Serious Fraud Office (SFO)) are nevertheless considering their responsibilities under the Declaration. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) reported plans to investigate, with the NZ Defence Force (NZDF), a standardised dataset that could be released.

25. The Ministry of Health (MoH) is investigating using the IDI to respond to some of the demands for data from its stakeholders. Whilst this is not as open as desired, they expect the research results could be made public.


Central government's progress on releasing public data

26.  Table 2 shows departmental progress against 12 criteria [12] in adopting the Declaration in 2014, compared with 2013. Some agencies have lower scores than in 2013. This is due to a higher benchmark in the survey assessment, covering data release processes and application of NZGOAL. Departments are aware of these results which will be addressed in the bi-annual meetings with Data Champions and by reviewing the approach for future surveys.


Comparison (bar chart) of departmental adoption of the Declaration, 2013-2014

Table 2: Department adoption of the Declaration, 2013-2014


27. Fourteen (44%) departments [13] showed progress since the 2013 report: CERA, Corrections, Department of Conservation (DOC), Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), Education Review Office (ERO), LINZ, MCH, MSD, MOJ, MoT, NZDF, Police, Te Puni Kokiri (TPK), and Treasury.

28. As this year’s survey looked for improved uptake, such as releasing data in open rather than proprietary formats, website copyright statements compliant with NZGOAL, and publicised data on, some departments have achieved lower scores than in 2013.

29. Despite this, many of these departments are taking steps to make data release part of their business processes. For example, MPI is establishing robust data stewardship practices and developing a data catalogue to inform their data release work programme.


Incorporation into business planning

30. An indicator of growing departmental maturity is that more departments have already incorporated high value data release into their current and strategic business planning, as shown in Table 3.


Comparison of open data incorporation into agency business planning 2012-2014

Table 3: Incorporating open data into agency business planning 2012-2014


31. Only eight departments have either not incorporated adoption of the Declaration in their business planning or did not respond to the question; two of these have nevertheless released high value public data [14].

32. A further sign that data release is becoming business as usual is an Agency Data Coordinator role at an operational level to help Agency Data Champions apply the Declaration. Fourteen (44%) departments have this role.


Compliance with the Declaration

33. Twelve departments, (compared with ten in 2013 and six in 2012), are consistently releasing public data fully compliant with the Declaration. These are CERA, Corrections, ERO, LINZ, MCH, MoE, MoJ, PCO, Police, SSC, Stats NZ and Treasury.

34. Five departments (Corrections, MoT, TPK, DPMC and MCH) have made significant progress since the 2013 report in their adoption of the Declaration or have plans to be fully compliant.

35. Only seven departments [15] are not releasing high value public data for re-use in accordance with the Declaration. They report that they use more public data than they produce.


2013/14 public data release for re-use

36. Twenty-five (78%) departments released high value public data for re-use over the 2013/14 period, four more than in 2013. MBIE, MoH, MPI, Stats NZ and The Treasury reported the most dataset releases in 2014.

37. Departments are updating public data released in earlier years and are supplying public data in more open formats. The volume of data released has remained the same, and a diverse range of new high value public data was released by departments in 2014 [16], including:

  • Progress on Better Public Service Results Programme 1-10
  • Aerial imagery (LINZ)
  • Christchurch CBD aerial photography (CERA)
  • Dog control statistics (DIA)
  • Market rent data (MBIE)
  • Freight information flow data (MoT)
  • 2013 Census (Stats NZ)

38. Many departments are not publicising their public data releases on the all-of-government directory, [17]. Only 38% of the published datasets were publicised on this website compared with 67% in 2013 and 86% in 2012. Examples are Stats NZ not reporting all the individual information releases in its survey response and MBIE not reporting all the public data it included in its survey response on


Applying re-use licences to public data and copyright works

39. Departments’ use of appropriate re-use licensing statements, in compliance with NZGOAL, improved from 2013, but not to the same level as in 2012 [18]. Only 56% of released data in 2014 included NZGOAL licensing statements, compared with plans in 2013 for 69% of planned releases to have a compliant licensing statement. Greater compliance with NZGOAL is promised for 78% of the new public data to be released in 2014/15.

40. Sixteen (50%) departments, compared with 12 (38%) departments in 2013, now have website copyright statements that comply with NZGOAL [19]. However, application of NZGOAL more widely to copyright works released for re-use is low. Only a quarter (eight departments) placed the default Creative Commons licence (CC-BY) on all their online and paper publications in accordance with NZGOAL.


Future public data release plans

41. Eighteen (56%) departments plan to release mainly new public data in 2014/15. Although this will result in fewer data releases than in 2013, they are generally significant authoritative datasets that users wish to re-use, including:

  • Conviction and sentencing data (MoJ)
  • WW100 Heritage Trails (MCH) (part of WW1 centenary programme)
  • Processed LIDAR (laser remote sensing) ground surface data (CERA)
  • ‘Street views’ of Great Walks (DOC)
  • NZ Greenhouse Gas Inventory (MfE)
  • New statistical measures/indicators on school transience, bullying, learning of Te Reo (MoE)
  • Petroleum Data Pack (MBIE)
  • Estimates of Maori economy exports (TPK)

42. Table 4 compares future data release plans with earlier years. Consistent with earlier years, departments expect that most public data planned for release for re-use will progress the Programme’s economic and social outcomes. They also expect to increase the Programme’s transparency and efficiency outcomes compared with 2013 [20].


Comparison (bar chart) of the future releases of open data planned 2012-2014

Table 4: Future releases of open data planned 2012-2014


Data requests on

43. Only 10% of data requested by users on has been released since this function was implemented. While some agencies are constrained by current legislation (e.g. MPI for FarmsOnline data) or business models (e.g. Quotable Value NZ, NZ Post), other departments and public sector agencies have not yet released the data requested.


Adoption challenges being overcome

44. In line with the trend towards greater maturity in adopting the Declaration, fewer departments identified issues compared with 2012 and 2013. Twelve (38%) departments raised the lack of resources (capacity, capability and necessary technical skills) to make sustained progress on changing data release practices.

45. Other process issues raised by four departments or fewer covered the lack of a formal publishing/data release process, legal and copyright issues, data quality, confidentiality of aggregated data, releasing restricted data, and cultural and organisational issues.


Progress towards greater efficiencies for departments

46. Public sector agencies are re-using other departments’ data to deliver their own services or business. There is evidence that open data release process changes have led to further efficiency gains for agencies and better access to public data for users.


Changes to data release processes

47. Seventeen (53%) departments now offer more open and machine-readable formats, accessibility improvements, interactive capability for users, shared data management, and refined publishing processes [21], including:

  • MfE using NIWA to release its data while it sets up a long term arrangement with LINZ to host its data;
  • open geospatial formats allowing the incorporation of live GIS permit and geoscience data into users' GIS systems and desktop tools such as Google Earth (MBIE);
  • Recreation Planner improving the currency of data by allowing the public to validate and correct data errors and achieve efficiencies for the department from public online bookings (DOC);
  • dog control statistics released in open format (DIA);
  • regional data added to tax statistics at Territorial Authority and Regional Council level, and statistics on tax-related court cases in response to requests for the information (IR); and
  • benefits data for Benefit Fact Sheets available in Excel ((MSD).


Re-use of other departments’ data

48. Twenty-three (72%) departments re-use other departments’ and state sector agencies’ public data extensively [22]. Eight (25%) receive machine-readable data and 11 (34%) reported using data for analysis beyond the original intent of collection. Source agencies are very diverse for some departments [23].


Direct cost savings

49. Nine (28%) departments reported direct cost savings or efficiency gains from re-use of their public data, though no department could quantify this. The gains included:

  • not having to collect the data again;
  • data quality improvements;
  • reduction in analysts’ time preparing more structured datasets for further analysis; and
  • direct access to the data rather than making separate requests.


Cross-agency data hosting or dissemination

50. Departments are investigating options for more efficient release processes for their public data. Seven departments with large, high value datasets already use their own or another data hosting/dissemination service: DOC, LINZ, MoE, MoT, MSD, PCO, and Stats NZ.

51. Eight (25%) departments are considering subscribing to an existing government data hosting or dissemination service (LINZ Data Service or NZ.Stat) rather than establishing their own service. These departments have large, high value public datasets (CERA, IR, MBIE, MfE, MoH, MoJ, Police, TPK). Treasury is also considering this need for the three central agencies [24].

52. In 2013/14 LINZ and Stats NZ commenced preparatory work to minimise duplication and provide distinct but complementary data hosting and dissemination services for agencies. This work will feed in 2014/15 into Action 13.1 of the Government ICT Strategy and Action Plan to 2017.


Increase in authorised use of restricted data

53. Departments reported more demand from authorised agencies and external researchers to access their restricted data in managed environments to enable data analytics and more evidence-based policy development. Restricted datasets are being released into the IDI [25], and CERA developed the Canterbury Geotechnical Database to hold restricted data needed for the rebuild.

54. Six departments are making changes to enable other departments and authorised users to use restricted data. They reported the following impacts:

  • efficiencies for the Christchurch rebuild (CERA);
  • time saved in setting up data sharing agreements with separate agencies (Corrections and MoJ);
  • improved secure access for authorised users in a secure environment (MSD);
  • benefits of joining the department’s data with other data in the IDI (MOJ); and
  • changing the approach to planning the Business Intelligence systems (open unless restricted) and design of outputs ensures appropriate security and confidentiality (Police).

55. Four departments have further plans for restricted data:

  • investigate releasing more data into the IDI (MoH and MoE);
  • establish a secure delivery system for authorised users under an end user agreement (MfE); and
  • release details of unclaimed monies so that individuals will be able to confirm if they are entitled to any (IR).

56. The Secretariat will continue to work with departments to encourage, where possible, the release of the public outputs of this analytical work for re-use under an appropriate Creative Commons licence.


Impacts on OIA requests to departments

57. Departments reported that adoption of the Declaration is having an impact on OIA requests: changes in request patterns for more data in open formats and a user expectation that high value public data will be made available proactively.

58. Four departments (MBIE, CERA, MSD and Police) reported both a decrease in data requests following the release of public data for re-use and an increase in requests which were driven by demand for more detailed data (including for BPS data) and for different formats.

59. Five departments reported benefits from referring users directly to published data and considered the number of requests had reduced, but only MBIE could quantify the impact (0.5 FTE saved from not having to distribute spatial data).

60. Three departments (DIA, LINZ and Treasury) reported a decrease in requests as a result of data being available online. Another four departments (MfE, GCSB, MPIA, DOC) noted an increase in requests driven by increased awareness and changing expectations of availability.

61. The trends shown by these results are positive. While it is difficult to monitor requests consistently across multiple channels, agencies are encouraged to identify their key channels and establish metrics to inform their next steps in making public data available for re-use.


Declaration adoption by the wider public sector

Evidence of adoption

62. Adoption of the Declaration now extends beyond the public service departments to include the public sector which was encouraged or invited by Cabinet to adopt the Declaration. These agencies include Crown Research Institutes (CRIs), local government, Crown Agents (such as NZ Transport Agency, Electricity Authority, Health Promotion Agency). These agencies have not been formally surveyed and their adoption level is based on their public data release on their websites, or discussions held with the Open Government Data and Information Secretariat.

63. In 2014, three agencies from the wider public sector exposed 36 new datasets or documents on compared with eight agencies exposing 30 datasets in 2013. The default Creative Commons licence (CC-BY) is most frequently used.

64. Other evidence of their interest is shown by:

  • the use of the CC-BY licence on some websites, publications and data;
  • some data releases and listings on;
  • use of data hosting services such as [26] and the LINZ Data Service to make data freely available for re-use in open formats without having to establish their own services; and
  • information and data management policies that take NZGOAL and the Declaration into account.

65. Some school Boards of Trustees have open data policies enabling the re-use of curriculum resources and the legal use of other copyrighted material under Creative Commons licences. Some universities have also adopted open access policies, with two referring to using Creative Commons licences [27].

66. In 2013, the Secretariat began a formal engagement process with CRIs and local government to understand any issues in these sectors about adopting NZGOAL and the Declaration. In 2014, the Chair of the Governance Group will formally invite the Chief Executives of these organisations to consider appointing a Data Champion from their executive team. Some information-rich agencies (e.g., LandCare Research and NZ Transport Agency) have already appointed a Data Champion to actively progress adoption within their agencies.

67. Examples of high-value public data released by wider public sector agencies are:

  • Electricity Market Information website (, launched in 2014 by the Electricity Authority, uses CC-BY, and offers datasets in an open format (.csv);
  • crash analysis data. The NZ Transport Agency, in addition to its Infoconnect service, has made crash analysis data (referenced to location) available in an open format (.csv) with quarterly updates, pending the development of its new system which will enable direct access;
  • the Waikato Regional Council data catalogue clearly identifies the licence for each dataset, including CC-BY on a number of its datasets; and
  • MarineMate, an application initiated by the Waikato Regional Council, is now a national tool helping improve water safety and compliance; a reduction in ACC claims is an expected benefit.


Issues arising for the wider public sector

68. The most frequently raised issue by agencies in the wider public sector is the tension between their commercial business models and Government’s expectations for publicly-funded data to be released for re-use in accordance with the Declaration. This interplay is particularly evident where agencies receive contestable funding for activities that will create data and information, often in a collaborative environment with private sector organisations.

69. Request for proposal documents from central government for contestable funding [28] state an expectation of compliance with open data policies but it is unclear how compliance will be evaluated or what the Government’s expectation is for re-use of the data outputs. There is a risk that contracts for publicly funded fundamental research could unintentionally restrict access to the raw data for other researchers for significant periods, unless there is clarity about data and intellectual property ownership and government’s expectations.

70. The Secretariat will continue to work with departments and agencies to clarify how the Declaration and NZGOAL could be applied in these situations.


Alignment and delivery of programme

Alignment with other open government initiatives

Open Government Partnership (OGP)

71. In October 2013, the Government accepted an invitation to join the OGP, a forum of countries working to promote government that is open, accountable and responsive to citizens. Access to open government data is essential to meeting the objectives of the OGP. The Secretariat is contributing to the SSC’s development of New Zealand’s first action plan [29].

72. The Open Government Data and Information Programme’s 2014-2016 work programme aligns with the OGP and will be included in the action plan. The Secretariat will continue to liaise with the SSC and other departments on these initiatives and leverage opportunities to engage with civil society to increase their participation in the programme.

NZ Data Futures Forum

73. The NZ Data Futures Forum [30] is investigating how the private and public sectors can benefit from data sharing and re-use in a trusted, transparent, and secure environment. The Forum is engaging with the public and private sectors to explore ways to create an environment where New Zealand and New Zealanders can realise value from the data.

74. The Secretariat has participated in the Forum’s public meetings and discussed the Programme’s expected outcomes with its private sector members. The Secretariat will continue to share its work programme, learnings and results with the Forum.


Delivery of the Programme

75. Many departments continue to support the cross-government programme:

  • LINZ hosts the Open Government Data and Information Programme Secretariat (a full time Programme Leader and a short-term contractor);
  • MCH and PCO continue to second part-time resources to assist the Secretariat with delivery of the Programme; and
  • DIA provides, a directory of government’s public datasets.

76. DIA provides the website where all information relating to the ICT Strategy is published. The Open Data Programme section of the website is maintained by the Secretariat.

77. During 2013/14, the Secretariat progressed all the next steps set out in the 2013 adoption report, including publishing two new NZGOAL Guidance Notes [31]. These provide practical guidance for agencies on procuring copyright works and when to apply the NZGOAL framework to databases and datasets.


Benefits realisation

78. Cabinet anticipated adoption of the Declaration would require a cultural shift within departments as they moved to better engage with users of their data and to understand what re-use of their data means. Since 2012, the Programme has published case studies describing the impact of re-use as the first steps in developing a benefits realisation framework. These case studies identify an extensive range of economic, social, efficiency and transparency benefits, generally qualitative.

79. Building on these case studies, a benefits realisation evaluation will be completed by the Secretariat in 2015/2016, four years after the approval of the Declaration [32] to determine whether the expected benefits of the Declaration have been achieved. It is expected to assess the impact of re-use of public data by the business and community sectors, as well as by departments and public sector agencies.

80. Currently, the Secretariat can only identify re-uses through ad-hoc feedback from agencies or via reports in the media. A more comprehensive approach will be necessary for an effective benefits realisation process if it is to include quantitative and qualitative evidence.

81. This 2014 survey is the first stage of this work. It has begun gathering qualitative information about departments’ metrics of third party data re-use, their own efficiency gains and their knowledge of key stakeholders. This will inform the development of the benefits realisation evaluation framework.


[29] The action plan is being drafted in consultation with civil society for approval in July 2014.

[30] The Forum has been established by the Ministers of Finance and Statistics to explore the future of data sharing between the public and private sector.

[31] NZGOAL framework.

[32] Cabinet noted the ‘anticipated benefits from active release of government data’ and was advised that an evaluation process would be included in the work programme. (CAB Min (11) 29/12).


Next steps

82. As agency adoption of the Declaration matures, the Open Government Data Steering Group will oversee the following next steps:

a) promoting regular exposure of new datasets on Departments will be expected to expose all datasets they release for re-use on this directory. This will require better knowledge of and a more streamlined and automated reporting capability. Future adoption surveys could then rely on reports generated from, reducing the annual reporting burden for departments;

b) working with and supporting data champions and data coordinators as they build data release into their regular business processes and systems, and address user demand for the more complex high value public datasets requested directly or through;

c) identifying priority datasets by working with data-rich agencies and ensuring the dataset categories used for international assessments are understood by government departments. This would enable more accurate assessments in future global surveys;

d) improving compliance with NZGOAL. Working with departments to improve compliance on their corporate publications and websites, and to address issues relating to existing licensing agreements, ahead of more detailed NZGOAL assessment in the 2015 report to Cabinet;

e) offering more extensive practical NZGOAL training, including for procurement and research contracts and exploring alternative ways to deliver training;

f) continuing to prepare for measuring benefits realisation by working with departments to develop indicatorsto measure the economic, social, efficiency and transparency outcomesand document examples of re-use

g) expanding the release of high value public data and adoption of the Declaration and NZGOAL by the wider public sector agencies;

h) increasing the demand for open data by engaging with the business and community sector to increase their knowledge and use of open data

i) reviewing the approach for future surveys to measure progress across departments where data release is becoming business as usual, and to effectively include progress across the wider public sector; an

j) reporting back to Cabinet in 2015.



[1] The New Zealand Declaration on Open and Transparent Government. Cab Min (11) 29/12 refers.

[2] Licensing framework to allow re-use, approved by Cabinet in August 2010 [Cab Min (10) 24/5A refers]; see NZGOAL framework.

[3] Action 13 is ‘Open by default – active re-use of information assets.

[4] Better Public Services 2012-2017 [archived]

[5] Open Data Barometer: 2013 Global Report [PDF 4.7 MB]

[6] Governance groups are supported by a Working Group. [This group has been superceded by the Digital Government Information Group since this report was written] .

[7] This report excludes the NZ Security Intelligence Service. 

[8] ‘% of agencies’ refers to agencies that released datasets; the ‘%’ on the other columns is of all datasets released in survey period.

[9] This included staff from Christchurch City Council, Environment Canterbury, NZ Transport Agency, local technology and transport consulting companies, and local app developers.

[10] See also open data case studies.

[11] The Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) is a secure environment managed by Stats NZ where authorised users, including approved non-government researchers, can undertake analysis of restricted data. Restricted data is personal, confidential data that is aggregated and anonymised before being stored in the IDI.

[12] The 12 criteria, all weighted equally, are: senior manager is Data Champion; Declaration in current planning; will be in future planning; data released in 2013 (excluding CEs’ expenses); plans for future releases; NZGOAL on websites and publications; NZGOAL on data released; data in open, machine-readable formats; current data released on; NZGOAL on future releases; future releases in open, machine-readable formats (not only proprietary); and future releases on This table was not completed in 2012. Note: the availability/format assessment is on ‘datasets’ released rather than reports, as data is the focus of the Declaration.

[13] This report excludes the NZ Security Intelligence Service.

[14] MoD, Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MWA), MPIA, Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), NZ Customs Service (NZCS); and IR and Treasury, which are releasing data. DIA, MoD, Treasury and MWA outlined plans to incorporate into business planning.

[15] GCSB, MFAT, MPIA, MWA, and NZDF; NZCS releases data in response to OIA requestors, and not on its website; MoD “will look at how and whether data could be made available”.

[16] There were 163 releases in 2014 and 162 in 2013. The majority of datasets planned for release in 2013, had been released. An exact comparison was difficult as datasets names did not necessarily match.

[17] Exposure of datasets on is an NZGOAL requirement. The Secretariat will promote wider adoption of the automated reported capability (Atom Feed) by departments. If was more complete, the survey’s compliance burden on agencies would reduce.

[18] NZGOAL encourages departments to apply a Creative Commons (CC) licence to the public data they release for re-use. Users can then legally re-use and adapt this data.

[19] This only includes agencies with NZGOAL compliant statements.

[20] ‘% of agencies’ refers to agencies that plan to release datasets in the next survey period; the ‘%’ on the other columns is of all datasets planned for release in the next survey period.

[21] Departments reported developing apps or tools to make the content and data available to their stakeholders (eg, NZ Fishing Rules (MPI) and the Industry Benchmarking Tool (IR/Stats NZ)). However, these were outside the survey period and did not fit the criteria of ‘release for re-use’.

[22] 15 departments were listed as sources of public data covering a diverse range geospatial, health, education, crime, land use, rohe and local authority boundaries, census, etc.

[23] For example, eg, LINZ used data and/or aerial imagery from several government departments, Crown Research Institutes, port companies, local government, state-owned enterprises, Crown agents, some iwi, and private companies.

[24] SSC, DPMC and Treasury.

[25] In 2013 Cabinet approved an expansion of the IDI and establishment of a central analytics insight function. [SOC (13) 98] Better Public Services: Cabinet Papers and Minutes.

[26] A partnership between Land Information NZ and Koordinates.

[27] Lincoln and Auckland Universities have links to the NZ website (

[28] Based on a review of National Science Challenge and Science Investment documents.


Last updated 20/09/2016