Report to the Minister of Statistics and Land Information:
Proposal to Transfer the Open Government Information and
Data Programme from Land Information New Zealand to
Statistics New Zealand
16 February 2017
Charlie Russell Private Secretary to the (04) 817 9633 021 244 0895
Minister of Statistics
Redacted – s9(2)(g)(ii)
(04) 931 4977 021 507 165
Strategy & Delivery
In August 2011, Cabinet issued a Declaration on Open and Transparent
Government (CAB Min (11) 29/12 refers), committing the Government to actively
release high value public data to promote greater openness and transparency.
The Open Government Information and Data Programme (the Programme) was
put in place to support the Declaration. It is also a key component of the
Government ICT Strategy 2015.
The Programme sits with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and has been
funded through a combination of baseline funding through LINZ and Club
Funding from multiple agencies. This funding ceased on 30 June 2016 and LINZ
is providing bridge funding until June 2017.
Funding of $7.2 million over four years was sought from the Budget 2016/17
Data and Analytics Contingency (CAB-16-MIN-0189) for the acceleration of the
release of open data. The outcome of the bids will be known by 13 March 2017.
Statistics NZ and LINZ propose that the Programme be transferred to Statistics
NZ. Given Statistics NZ’s core capabilities in data and analytics, and its
functional leadership mandate, the Programme aligns better with Statistics NZ’s
functions in comparison to LINZ.
The States Services Commission (SSC) has been consulted on this briefing.
If the Minister of Statistics and Land Information agrees with this proposal, we
propose a formal transfer of the Programme from LINZ to Statistics NZ occur as
soon as practical.
It is recommended that you:
to a formal transfer of the Open Government Information and Data
Programme from LINZ to Statistics NZ as soon as practical.
AGREE / DISAGREE
to your Office setting up a joint meeting between Statistics NZ and LINZ
officials to discuss this briefing.
AGREE / DISAGREE
this briefing with the Minister of State Services and the Minister of Internal
AGREE / DISAGREE
Government Statistician and Chief
Land Information New Zealand
Statistics New Zealand
Hon Mark Mitchell Minister of Statistics
1. This briefing outlines a proposal to transfer the Open Government Information
and Data Programme (the Programme) from Land Information New Zealand
(LINZ) to Statistics NZ.
2. The briefing will also provide you with an overview of the Programme and the
rationale for moving it to Statistics NZ.
The Open Government Information and Data Programme
3. Open data is data that is freely available, and can be freely used by anyone for
any purpose. It is data that is available in usable formats and is licensed to be
used without restriction.
4. Open data allows for new and better products and services to be delivered by
private and Government agencies. It also contributes to better public debate, an
accountability of Government agencies, and brings economic benefits to the
5. In August 2011, Cabinet approved the Declaration on Open and Transparent
Government (CAB Min (11) 29/12 refers). The Declaration requires core
government agencies to release all high value, non-personal, non-restricted data
in usable formats to align with the New Zealand Data and Information
Management Principles. These principles were issued in 2011 to support the
6. The Programme implements the Declaration, and support the Government’s
objectives to increase the release of open government data. It is the only
initiative working across government to encourage and support these objectives.
7. The Programme is leading the delivery of Commitment 3 and Commitment 4 of
the Open Government Partnership (OGP) National Action Plan 2016-2018. More
information about the OGP is appended.
8. It also aligns with the Data Investment Framework and will help to solve many of
the critical system gaps relating to open data.
9. Key milestones achieved by the Programme are appended.
Current status of the Programme
10. The Programme has, more recently, been funded through a combination of
baseline funding through LINZ and Club Funding from multiple agencies. These
agencies were represented at a governance level through the Programme. This
funding and governance model ceased on 30 June 2016. In the interim, LINZ
has provided bridge funding until June 2017.
11. While Ministers have sought to accelerate the release of open government data,
current funding and resourcing is insufficient to meet government objectives for
greater openness and transparency. Without funding, the Programme’s design,
planning and delivery, and its objectives will be compromised.
12. Funding of $7.2 million over four years was sought from the Budget 2016/17
Data and Analytics Contingency (CAB-16-MIN-0189). The funding will meet the
costs of operating a team to run the Programme till 2020. The investment will
a greater understanding of demand and data user needs
prioritised investment in opening data according to user demand
1 International literature estimates opening up Government data increases Gross Domestic
Productivity between 0.4 percent -1.5 percent.
improvements in capability to collect, manage and release data
improved accessibility of data through greater discoverability and improved
resourcing to support data use and reuse.
13. The Programme looks to support government agencies to open more datasets,
improve their ability to manage datasets they have released for third party use,
and move to a position where government-held data becomes ‘open by design’
(and therefore easier to release, discover and reuse).
14. LINZ, the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) and Statistics NZ have been
working to ensure relevant government programmes are aligned, avoid
duplication and are appropriately weighted to maximise net value from open
Rationale for moving the programme to Statistics NZ
Statistics NZ is leading the government data and analytics initiative
15. As part of establishing the Better Public Services Results Refresh (BPS2), the
State Services Commissioner has identified areas, where particular agencies will
perform the role of a functional lead. Functional leadership is “leadership aimed
at securing economies or efficiencies across departments, improving services or
service delivery, developing expertise and capability across the Public Services,
and ensuring business continuity” [CAB Min (12) 16/10 refers].
16. The State Services Commissioner has identified a new functional leadership role
for ‘data and analytics’, which Statistics NZ will lead. Statistics NZ will:
lead future thinking and policy development to use new and different forms
of data, and ensure data can be effectively reused across the data
set clear priorities and provide feedback on performance for the data
set data system architecture and standards for government
develop data sharing protocols and set clear, consistent rules for data
support delivery of data and capability development in the State Services
by fostering sharing of approaches, techniques, practices and analytical
develop and operate shared system-wide infrastructure where needed,
and endorse agency solutions for system-wide use.
17. Statistics NZ has the expertise and a strong foundation to build and enhance the
open data work that LINZ has been undertaking. Statistics NZ, with its expertise
in data and new mandate, will work closely with other agencies to raise an
awareness of openness and transparency.
18. The Programme also aligns with the DatArcade bid from Statistics NZ which
seeks to provide better system level co-ordination and cohesion across
Government data activities.
19. Statistics NZ will also ensure that system architecture and standards for
government meet open data standards. Some of this work could already be
absorbed into Statistics NZ baseline funding.
20. Statistics NZ is already working across government and the data ecosystem to
streamline and drive data-driven innovation and investment. The Programme will
be another way that Statistics NZ can leverage its work and assist with
streamlining government services.
21. The impetus to share and use data to drive service delivery and innovation is a
reoccurring theme across agency transformation programmes and other
Government priorities, including the Better Public Services Results programme
and the Business Growth Agenda.
Initial plans for the Programme at Statistics NZ
22. Statistics NZ proposes that further planning be undertaken to integrate the
Programme with Statistics NZ’s work programme, but early indications are that
the Programme will sit in the Data System Leadership group in Statistics NZ.
23. Plans for the Programme are set out in the budget bid and Statistics NZ will
continue to build on those plans. Should the bid be successful, the funding
received from the bid will be transferred to Statistics NZ.
24. If the bid is not successful, Statistics NZ will need to discuss with the Minister
what might be possible for the Programme over time. The lack of funding will
result in very little progress on the Programme.
25. A work plan will be established over the coming months and an update will be
provided to you, the Minister of State Services and the Minister of Internal
26. Two fixed-term LINZ staff are contracted to the programme till 30 June 2017.
Statistics NZ and LINZ will discuss options regarding staffing of the Programme.
Programme reporting requirements and partnership responsibilities
27. In addition to running the Programme, there are a number of additional reporting
requirements and international commitments that Statistics NZ will need to
undertake and have resources for.
28. The progress of the Programme and use of funding will need to be reported
back to Treasury in 2018.
Open Government Partnership
29. The Programme is a commitment in New Zealand’s OGP National Action Plan
for 2016-18. Commitments 3 and 4 of New Zealand’s National Action
to improve open data access and principles and track progress and outcomes of
open government data release.
Open Data stakeholders
30. The key partners and stakeholders for the Programme are a wide-ranging group,
broadly divided between data holders and open data users (although there can
be crossover between the groups).
31. Data holders are primarily Central Government and wider Public Sector
agencies (for example, Local Government, CRIs, universities). Open data users
are a more diverse group of stakeholders and include private firms, non-profit
organisations and individuals.
Open Data international links and responsibilities
32. The Programme has close ties to the UK’s Open Data Institute, the USA’s
Center for Open Data Enterprise, the global Open Data Charter Global Multi-
Stakeholder Action Network, and the Open Government Partnership (through
the Programme’s work with SSC). The Programme is also in regular contact with
their international government counterparts, particularly Australian government
33. The Programme keeps up to date with successful open data initiatives
implemented overseas and adapts them to suit the New Zealand context. This
includes the Programme’s current work on New Zealand’s adoption of the
International Open Data Charter (under Commitment 3 of the Open Government
34. Other countries are contributing significant resources to their open government
data initiatives and New Zealand is therefore at risk of slipping in its international
rankings if there is insufficient resourcing in the long-term. For example, New
Zealand shifted down two points in the Open Data Barometer2 global ranking
between 2015 and 2016 (from 4th to 6th place out of 100 countries).
Risks in moving the programme to Statistics NZ
35. Moving the Programme to Statistics NZ may cause disruption, which may then
impact on the progress made to date. To minimise disruption and any loss in
momentum, Statistics NZ will implement a transition plan that will involve
working closely with LINZ and DIA to ensure all activities, including establishing
relationships with other government agencies and international partners occurs
36. There is also a risk that the Programme’s stakeholders and data users outside of
government may not be supportive of the move.
37. If you agree to this proposal, a formal transfer of the Programme from LINZ to
Statistics NZ will begin as soon as practical.
38. The SSC has been consulted on this briefing. Before the Programme is
transferred to Statistics NZ, formal consultation will need to occur with the SSC,
the Treasury and DIA.
39. All other agencies that are currently implementing the Programme will also be
Appendix 1: Key milestones achieved by the Programme
1. The Programme has focussed on the fundamentals of open data release and
has also managed the New Zealand Open Access and Licensing (NZGOAL)
2. NZGOAL provides guidance for agencies when releasing copyright works and
non-copyright material for re-use by others. It aims to standardise the licensing
of government copyright works for re-use using Creative Commons licences and
recommends statements for non-copyright material.
3. The Programme also released the NZGOAL - Software Extension policy in 2016
which provides agencies with guidance on licensing and release of publicly
funded software as open source (publicly accessible and legally re-usable).
4. The Programme’s work-to-date has included:
leading the work that has placed New Zealand as 6th in the Open Data
Barometer global rankings for readiness, implementation and impact of
worked with agencies on the supply side to provide one-on-one to support,
inform, troubleshoot, and advise on their release of open government data
worked with users of open government data (both within and outside
government) on the demand side to better understand and represent their
data needs, troubleshoot, and connect them with relevant government
represented New Zealand Government in the international open data
community and contributed to New Zealand’s reputation as a leader in the
open data space. This includes membership of the Open Data Institute
Leaders’ Network and the Open Data Charter Stewards’ Group
supported local initiatives using open government data such as GovHack,
International Open Data Day, and the Open Government Ninjas online
provided advice across government (including at Chief Executive and
Ministerial level), civil society and business on how open government data
can enable government, citizens, business and civil society organisations
to make better informed decisions; develop new insights and innovative
ideas that can generate social and economic benefits; increase
government efficiency and information sharing; and is a core tool to drive
open and transparent government
developed guidance for agencies to release copyright works and non-
copyright material for re-use by applying Creative Commons licences
established a government data champions network – there are 32 central
government data champions and 57 local government data champions
currently supporting the cultural shift necessary to adopt open data
objectives within their organisations
published case studies to provide valuable success stories about the
benefits and crucial impacts open data can have in New Zealand and
around the globe
held key events such as the Open Data Showcase at Parliament, to raise
the knowledge and awareness of open data, and highlight the kinds of
innovative technologies and solutions that can be developed when
Government information and data is accessible.
Appendix 2: Open Government Partnership
5. The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is an international agreement by
governments committed to creating greater transparency, increasing civic
participation and using new technologies to make government more open,
effective, and accountable.
6. The OGP is designed for member governments to be more transparent,
accountable and responsive to their citizens, with the ultimate goal of improving
the quality of governance, as well as the quality of services provided to the
community. New Zealand is a member government.
7. At the heart of open government are the ideas of transparency, participation and
Transparency means the public understands the workings of their
Participation means the public can influence the workings of government
by engaging with public policy processes and public service providers
Accountability means the public can hold the government to account for its
policy and service delivery performance.
8. The goals of the OGP align with New Zealand’s long and proud tradition of open
and transparent government. It also provides a framework for the New Zealand
government to work directly with civil society, the private sector and international
partners on open government topics. It is a unique opportunity for New Zealand
to demonstrate leadership in open government practices, to work
alongside other nations, and to share knowledge on improving public services
and better managing public resources.
9. Member governments are required to develop and implement National Action
Plans to meet these objectives. The SSC leads New Zealand’s response to the
OGP in collaboration with other agencies including LINZ and Statistics NZ. New
Zealand’s current Action Plan outlines two commitments on open data –
Commitment 3 and Commitment 4.
Appendix 3: Open Government Partnership NZ National Action Plan
Commitment 1: Open Budget
10. Led by the Treasury. It aims to promote public discussion/debate and
participation through accessibility of the budget and include relevant groups
outside of government in the formative phase of the Budget, ensuring they are
informed about the process and issues.
Commitment 2: Improving official information practices
11. Led by the SSC and the Ministry of Justice. It aims to make government
information more accessible by adopting a consistent set of agency practices in
response to requests for official information.
Commitment 3: Improving open data access and principles
12. Led by LINZ in collaboration with DIA. It aims to review and strengthen the
principles under which New Zealand releases open data and information.
Commitment 4: Tracking progress and outcomes of open government
13. Led by LINZ and DIA and Statistics NZ. It aims to help drive a culture change
amongst government agencies to gain value from open government data.
Commitment 5: Ongoing engagement for OGP
14. Led by the SSC. It aims to ensure that government and communities are able to
engage on open government topics using a variety of stable methods – including
online platforms and face-to-face meetings and other forums – as part of a wider
Commitment 6: Improving access to legislation
15. Led by the Parliamentary Counsel Office. It aims to improve access to legislation
by publishing all subordinate instruments (regardless of who drafts them) on the
New Zealand Legislation (NZL) website. The result will be a single,
comprehensive, official, public source of all New Zealand’s legislation.
Commitment 7: Improving policy practices
16. Led by Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. It aims to ensure that
policy advice to government is better informed by insights from those most
affected by government policy and programmes, by input from diverse points of
view, and by data and evidence.