Land Information New Zealand
Senior Responsible Officer
Open Government Information and Data Programme
This initiative will accelerate the Open Government Information
and Data Programme led by Land Information New Zealand. The
expansion is to accelerate the release of government data to
realise more value.
$7,217,000 over four years
Bid can be prepared by
14 October, 2016
Introduction and Executive Summary
This is a bid for funding from the Data and Analytics Contingency provided for in Budget 16. The
contingency makes funds available (for a maximum of four years) for data related initiatives that fit the Data
Investment Framework (the framework). The framework supports investments in data infrastructure to
achieve better outcomes for customers (data suppliers and data users, both government and non-
government, and the recipients of the products and services based on open Government data). This bid
responds to Critical System Gaps identified by the framework and is for investment to accelerate the
release of open Government data1 to support data driven innovation.
Funding for the Government Information and Open Data Programme ceased in 2015/16. Funding of $0.5
million has been provided in 2016/17 for the Programme from Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)
baseline funding to maintain the Programme until decisions on the future Programme and funding can be
made. The current Programme provides advice on existing requirements and raises awareness about the
need for and value of opening data. To realise the next tranche of benefits, and accelerate open data
release beyond a slow status quo, further funding is needed. This additional funding will bring forward and
increase the net value to New Zealand from the data held by Government agencies. These benefits will
accrue to the economy, and also towards the Government’s environmental and social objectives.
Benefits of Open Data Release
International case studies and research point to significant benefits for countries that successfully
implement measures to open Government data to third party users. Once released, the same data is
available for reuse any number of times and to achieve many different purposes. For example the United
States Government previously sold its satellite data (Landsat data), mostly to other Government agencies.
Once released as open data there was a rapid expansion in its use both by Government and the private
sector. The scale of reuse had significantly more value2 than the return they received by selling the data.
Landsat data has been used to monitor water quality, glacier recession, sea ice movement, invasive
species encroachment, coral reef health, land use change, deforestation rates and population growth.
Landsat has also helped to assess damage from natural disasters such as fires, floods, and tsunamis, and
subsequently, plan disaster relief and flood control programmes.
1 Open data is data that anyone can access, use and share. It does not include personal data.
2 Benefits to the economy alone have been estimated at $US1.8 billion [http://landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov/?p=10949].
Proposed W ork Programme
The Open Government Information and Data Programme will achieve its economic and social objectives
by delivering the following three work streams. The work streams are designed taking into account
international learnings, and engagement with local and overseas experts and stakeholders:
Mandate and monitoring
Establish a clear mandate across agencies for prioritising the release of Government data to encourage
agencies to accelerate open data release. Work will include:
Considering adopting the International Open Data Charter
Investigating options to improve monitoring
Providing advice to the State Services Commission on Chief Executive Key Performance
Indicators, and inclusion in agency audits and Performance Improvements Framework.
The resource commitment for this work programme is moderate to low, with possibly long term and
significant benefits accruing as the required culture shift embeds.
Work with agencies (initially those with an economic focus) to help them release high value, in demand
datasets. This work will involve:
A stocktake of the current state of their datasets
Working with data users to identify the most in demand datasets
Identifying the key barriers to releasing these datasets
Working with agencies to overcome those barriers.
This is the most resource intensive work stream, with a quick expected payback of economic benefits as
high value data is released. As Government agency culture and capability become more supportive of
open data, it is expected that this work will evolve into a monitoring role, perhaps with some residual
advisory capacity after four years.
Enabling open data release and discovery
This work builds on current awareness raising activities, which focus on introducing the value of open data
and the application of creative commons licencing to agencies. It will build a level of capability across
agencies through a range of activities, including providing online tools, advice on practical steps for
releasing data, and raising awareness through a consolidated online presence.
The resource commitment for this work stream is low, and dependent on the availability of useful tools and
guidance being developed here and overseas. Over time it is expected to play a significant role in making
it easier to release data, that is, by reducing the current cost and capability disincentive on agencies to
invest in making their data available.
Alignment with other Data Work
The work streams complement and reinforce work being undertaken by Statistics New Zealand (DatArcade
bid to the Contingency Fund) and the Department of Internal Affairs (data.govt.nz). These agencies and
other stakeholders across the Government and private sectors support the proposed work streams outlined
The purpose of this bid is to obtain funding to deliver support to agencies to release government data and
to accelerate the reuse of data through the Open Government Information and Data Programme. The
Programme will look to sustainably transform the Government data system by supporting agencies to open
datasets, improving their ability to manage their datasets for third party use, and move to a position where
Government held data becomes open by design (and therefore easier to release, and easier to access).
This will lead to systematic and sustainable release of open data. It is anticipated that in time (between
five and seven years) the Programme will no longer be needed.
The case for change
collect and process data in support of meeting their statutory objectives. That data
will frequently have value to third parties including Government and private users. Yet that data is often
not made available to those users because there is little direct value to the Government agency, for which
there is also some cost and perceived risks in data release. In response to a Government commitment to
become more open (CAB Min (11) 29/12), many agencies are gradually developing a culture that supports
the public release of their data. However, the pace of change is slow. Many lack the capability and
capacity to do so well, and it is often a secondary priority behind their primary statutory roles and
It is increasingly understood in New Zealand and around the world that both Government and private
sector agencies will, on average, perform better as a direct consequence of having better access to
Government held data. In some cases the ability to offer improved services and products is considerably
enhanced (refer to the case study in Appendix 1).
Government data release will improve public sector performance by:
Improving the quality of information available to public sector decision makers by making data more
readily available and reusable, thereby improving the quality of operational and policy decisions.
Increasing the information available to the public (including stakeholder groups) by which to judge
the performance of Government agencies and programmes (transparent and open Government),
thereby encouraging better performance going forward. Better performance data will also aid
control agencies and Ministers in holding Government agencies to account.
Government data release will improve private sector performance by:
Encouraging the development and evolution of new products and services reliant on data held by
Government agencies, by releasing high value open datasets (refer to examples in Appendix 1).
Improving the set of data available for strategic and operational decision making.
Those countries that most successfully run a programme of open government data will gain a comparative
economic advantage over countries that do not. This advantage is critically dependent on the ability of
Government to open up the data it holds to third party users.
Where are we go ing ?
Economic value-add is increasingly being driven by data and information (the knowledge economy). Well
performing information markets are dynamic. Users and their information needs are constantly changing.
New technologies are offering new information solutions that reduce cost and increase value. Information
intermediaries are increasingly seeing opportunities to search out and realise value for users. New
information is coming on stream all the time and is combined in new ways to meet user demand. Within
this context, officials are working to achieve an open Government data environment that maximises the net
value of Government held data through:
Government datasets being open by design, unless there are compelling reasons for them to
Data users, including intermediaries, being easily able to identify high value existing
work with agencies to have the data released where appropriate;
Closed datasets that are strictly validated by exception only on the basis of limited criteria, for
example; personal, commercial and national security data;
Signalling to dataset providers when high value datasets are no longer valued by users so that their
costs (in making data available) might be reduced;
Data that is processed and made available to final users in a way that best serves the interests of
those users, having regard to provider costs, and the efficiency of alternative mechanisms for
processing that data (for example, in house or by information intermediaries);
Accountability information on Government programmes and agencies being made sufficiently
accessible to promote effective accountability;
Key information on the successes and failures of the Open Government Information and Data
Programme being made available to stakeholders and acted upon to improve performance.
In essence, the system of open Government data will prioritise data being made available to users where
the most value is generated, and in a way that minimises the cost of providing the data in the forms most
useful to users. The system will continue to improve, reflecting both success and failure here and
How will we get there ?
There is a growing international consensus on the broad measures needed to realise these benefits.
Within this context, New Zealand officials recognise that differences between countries (such as scale,
sophistication of users and maturity of existing open data programmes) mean that New Zealand must be a
discerning consumer of overseas initiatives and learnings if its interests are to be best served. Also, this is
a relatively immature area of Government focus here and around the world. There is much to learn, and
programmes subject to frequent reassessment and refinement will achieve the best results.
The detailed work programme is provided in Appendix 2. In summary, it will:
Target resources to Government agencies that will facilitate the greatest release of open data of
most value to users;
Encourage potential users to seek access to Government held data by increasing public awareness
of data held by Government, and in this way encourage the needed culture shift to a more open
Develop and put in place administrative mechanisms that strengthen the expectation on
Government agencies to support the Open Government Information and Data Programme’s
Make it easier for agencies to deliver on the Programme objectives by offering comprehensive
support, including: training, tools to assist the dissemination of data and encouraging a shift to an
open by design approach.
These measures will facilitate the culture shift, as well as the capability and capacity building needed to
support a move to an open data environment that automatically searches out and efficiently realises
opportunities for value add from Government held data.
The potential gains are significant (refer potential benefits section below). The Programme is operating in
a complex environment – the culture change needed to realise benefits is difficult and the environment
fluid. Therefore, an agile approach is required. Officials will monitor the impacts of the Programme
carefully, and adjust as needed to best achieve the Programme’s objectives.
Alignment to Data Investment Framework , existing strategies and initiatives
This funding bid most significantly contributes to the focus areas 4, 5 and 6 of the Data Investment
4. Easy to find and safe access to open and protected data
5. Environment to actively support data sharing
6 Leadership, coordination, and support
The proposed work programme contributes to closing all but one of the critical systems gaps identified in
The proposal aligns to the Government’s revised (2015) ICT Strategy, which includes a focus
data and sharing by default supported by privacy and security settings.”
The Government’s 2011 Declaration on Open and Transparent Government states, “Building on New
Zealand’s democratic tradition, the [New Zealand] government commits to actively releasing high value
public data.” The Programme is a key deliverable in enabling agencies to meet their responsibilities under
the Government Declaration.
The initiative aligns to the upgrade of data.govt.nz (under development in the Department of Internal
Affairs, and with a beta version recently released). The upgrade of data.govt.nz, funded in part through
Budget 2016, wil provide an improved ‘front-door’ for open data users and improve the ability to effectively
find datasets. While data.govt.nz addresses the problem of finding and accessing data for users, it is only
as good as the datasets of the agencies connecting to it.
The Open Government Information and Data Programme also aligns with the DatArcade bid proposed by
Statistics New Zealand to provide better system level co-ordination and cohesion across Government data
activity (open and shared data).
Given the volume of activity in the data eco-system across Government, LINZ, the Department of Internal
Affairs and Statistics New Zealand officials have been working together to ensure the respective
programmes achieve synergies, avoid duplication and are appropriately weighted to best achieve the
Government’s objective of maximising value from the data held by Government agencies. This work has
shown that Statistics New Zealand, the Department of Internal Affairs and LINZ each have roles and
accountabilities within this system, and that the proposed activities of each agency fit together with little
overlap. The Statistics New Zealand DatArcade bid provides ongoing co-ordination and greater cohesion
across Government’s data programmes (including the Open Government Information and Data
Programme). However, the Open Government Information and Data Programme bid, and the DatArcade
bid, are not dependent on each other.
This bid is supported by the three Government agencies operating under the oversight of the Information
Group (housed in Statistics New Zealand), and by the Information Group itself.
Key stakeholders and partners
The key partners and stakeholders for this initiative are a wide ranging group, broadly divided between
data holders and open data users (although there is crossover between the groups). 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 including private firms, NGOs and individuals.
LINZ receives consistent demand for support and resources beyond what the programme has been able to
provide from both groups. The Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and
Employment in particular support the approach set out in the bid and the continuing assistance to open
their respective datasets. Similarly, other stakeholders (data users and Government agencies) indicate
opportunities for deriving further value from Government data are currently being missed.
The need for investment – The case for change
This initiative seeks to support agencies to accelerate release of
Government held data in open formats. Release of that data will lead to
better performance by Government and private sector agencies. This
includes the development of new and better products and services. It will
improve public accountability for the performance of Government entities
and programmes. In achieving these objectives, officials are guided by a
further objective; to identify and minimise related costs where possible
and appropriate. These objectives will be achieved by:
Delivering an open-by-design approach in central Government
agencies and other public sector entities
Increasing demand by users for open data by demonstrating the
value of existing datasets
Identifying priority datasets and enabling their being released by
supporting engagement between Government agencies and
users, providing technical advice and support and measuring
performance in real-time.
New Zealand Government data is an underutilised asset with sharing,
release and reuse well below optimal levels.
Poor open data culture: All Government agencies collect and hold data in
support of their statutory responsibilities. It is held in many forms. There
is little benefit to the agency, and some cost and risk in making that data
available, and in a form that can be easily used by others. For this
reason, the culture across Government needed to support open data is
weak. Opportunities for realising value are being missed. This is in spite
of the important part data plays in adding value to Government and private
Lack of capability and capacity: Furthermore, there are technical
challenges associated with opening up data, including understanding how
to implement open data standards or an open-by-design approach,3 for
which individual agencies do not always have sufficient expertise. For
most agencies, open data is non-core aspect and small part of their
business, and maintaining internal expertise is typically impractical and
not cost effective.
Poor information: Data holders have poor information on potential third
party users and the uses to which their data might be put. These users
can be unrelated to the Government agency’s main stakeholders. In turn,
potential users have little information on the data available across
Government, and in many cases, even how that data might benefit them.
In the absence of interaction between producers and consumers of
Government data, and information intermediaries who are incentivised to
identify and realise opportunities to add value, the information problem will
Underutilised Government data is a common problem around the world
and one that governments are actively addressing. While New Zealand
has been at the head of the field in opening up data, there is evidence that
our comparative advantage is being eroded. LINZ’s ongoing dialogue with
users and learnings from overseas experience clearly show more could
and should be done to unlock data value. New Zealand has slipped from
fourth to sixth on the Open Data Barometer.
Many of the critical system gaps identified by the Information Group speak
to this problem, including:
Data is not designed to meet system wide customer needs;
Data is not managed to enable reuse;
Insufficient information is shared for full value to be realised;
Existing data is hard to find;
Common understanding of the authorising environment and social
licence is limited;
There is no Government-wide prioritisation based on customer
The Open Government Information and Data Programme, currently led by
LINZ, has operated since 2008. In that time it has contributed to New
Zealand’s open data practice and performance, and to New Zealand being
3 ‘Open-by-design’ means designing data management systems and data sets from the ground up to support open data, rather than seeking to
retrofit later, which is more common (and expensive).
recognised as one of the leading open data environments. However, the
Programme is under resourced to maintain and accelerate progress.
The level of resource historically provided allowed for 1.8-2.6 FTEs and
little funding for specialised initiatives. The resourcing was only sufficient
for awareness and information provisions, along with a modest monitoring
role (an annual report of progress). This is insufficient for overcoming all
but the lowest of barriers to open data.
More recently the Programme has started to provide support to help
departments open up high value datasets (where there are few privacy
The funding that has been available has been unstable, addressed on a
year-to-year basis, making long-term planning impossible. Committed
funding for the Programme expired after 2015/16, leaving it an unfunded
mandate. LINZ is temporarily funding the Programme as the budget
process is worked through, but without a successful bid the Programme
will cease, with remaining funding used to wind-up the Programme.
The Government has been running an awareness raising approach and
low resourced programme to encourage Government agencies to identify
and release the datasets they hold. Work to date has been successful at
achieving release of data, but from relatively easy sources to access.
Monitoring, research and engagement work (stakeholders and experts
here and overseas) suggests significant value remains untapped within
closed Government datasets.
Open data is a new priority for Governments across the globe.
Governments are working hard to unlock the considerable latent value
contained in their datasets, thereby securing significant comparative gains
for their consumers and producers. Agreed strategies for unlocking this
value are developing quickly, but are perhaps not as thoroughly tested as
in more established areas of policy work. Furthermore, information
economics is a relatively challenging topic.4
With the above caveat in mind, work to date suggests significant gain can
be realised from a number of modest cost, system wide initiatives that
build awareness of value, make it easier (reduce barriers) for agencies to
disseminate their data and provide greater encouragement for them to do
so. Officials believe the Programme outlined below provides the best
approach to unlocking dataset value and closing the gap between where
New Zealand is, and where it should ultimately be. The Programme has
been designed to be agile. Officials will monitor the Programme as it is
implemented, which will result in value-add adjustments being made. The
budget provides for the purchase of external expertise to accommodate
this feature of the work programme.
4 Information is a mixed good, having the characteristic of both a private good (being partially excludable) and a public good (non rival). Further,
the optimum treatment of information tends to be situation specific, that is, depending on the nature of stakeholders, the information generated
and practicality of private funding.
The following options have been assessed:
Option one: Status quo
– The Programme will cease, with remaining
funds being used to complete current guidance, advice and tools being
worked on, and meet the costs of terminating the Programme.
Option two: Medium
– The Programme will work with a number of key
agencies to release high value in demand data, conduct stocktakes and
provide technical advice. These agencies will be those whose data
release will provide economic benefit, who have the capability and
capacity to engage and where there are fewer privacy issues. Online tools
will also be provided for all agencies to use to open data.
The Programme will also work more closely with data users and create a
strengthened mandate and monitoring.
Option three: Maximum
– Under this option there would be more
intensive support services provided to more agencies, and more
engagement with potential data users. Funds would be set aside to help
agencies to meet the costs of opening their data.
The critical determinant for deciding between the options is the expected
net benefit of each option. To aid in making this judgement, the following
criteria were considered:
Will the option drive change?
Will the option address key barriers?
Will the option fit with other strategies, programmes and projects
(i.e. not duplicate other work or programmes)?
Will the option provide value for money?
Can the option be delivered?
The costs, benefits and risks of the alternative options are discussed first,
followed by a discussion of the preferred option.
is the status quo. Under this option funding for the Open
Government Information and Data Programme would cease in 2016/17.
This would see centralised efforts to support agencies release open data
cease. This would slow the number of Government datasets becoming
available for use by Government and private users. This would be likely
to include datasets deemed of high value to users. Among other things,
the competitive market for innovation will produce new products for users
in other countries before New Zealand, to the benefit of their customers.
In some cases, business activity might relocate from New Zealand to
those countries. Ongoing improvements in public and private sector
performance would track at a lower rate, and New Zealand’s comparative
advantage over other countries would diminish as the return from those
countries’ relatively greater efforts accrued.
Ministers’ expectations for an accelerated Open Government Information
and Data Programme would not be met, and key gaps identified by the
Data Investment Framework would not be targeted by the Programme.
is the most ambitious option. It would cost $14 million over four
years. Benefits are likely
to be realised more quickly than under option 1
(and option 2 – the preferred option), but this needs to be considered
against the higher risks and costs. In particular, working closely with key
datasets and motivated and capable stakeholders (option 2) will result in
valuable learnings with which to support a more efficient roll-out of the
Programme to more problematic datasets and issues. Also, the
accompanying monitoring and policy development programme of option 2
should see timely and appropriate changes to policy settings to better
support a considered evolution of the Programme, as opposed to the big
bang approach of option 3. Finally, option 3 presents the risk that it could
violate the Government intervention principle that Governments “should
intervene only to the point needed to achieve its policy objective, and no
more.” Under a worst case scenario, a poorly implemented option 3 could
undermine the credibility of the Open Government Information and Data
Programme and its objectives.
is the preferred option. The fiscal cost of the Programme is $7.2
million over four years. It would realise significant and timely gain for New
Zealand compared to option 1, and without the material risk to the efficient
implementation of the Programme that would come with a more
aggressive approach (option 3). Officials believe option 2, compared to
the other options:
Provides better value for money;
Addresses the key barriers and risks to Open Government
Information and Data Programme in a cost effective manner;
Better aligns and realises synergies with the other whole-of-
Government information work streams, in particular with the work
of the Department of Internal Affairs (data.govt.nz) and Statistics
Pursuing the preferred Option (2)
The change required to address the problems identified are:
A programme team of 6-7 FTEs sufficient to lead prioritisation,
user engagement, provide hands on support (including through
participating in the data access service), and provide credible,
useful performance measurement;
Discretionary funds sufficient to support individual initiatives.
The work programme involves:
Initiate policy work on making the open data mandate more
Increase monitoring and information gathering on data quality.
Identify and work to open up highest value datasets.
Disseminate online tool kits on data release to make release
Years 2 and 3
Operationalise any changes to the open data mandate.
Develop and make available permissions framework/guidance to
help agencies make decisions on opening up datasets.
Increase efforts to open high value datasets, including shifting
focus to include CRIs and local Government.
Continue system monitoring, identify and understand the nature
and magnitude of remaining barriers, as well as the benefits of
The more detailed work programme is attached in Appendix 2.
Anticipated outcomes and associated benefits include better public sector
Improved system capability
: Improving the quality of information
available to public sector decision makers and therefore the
quality of operational and policy decisions. This “supply” helps
meet increasing demand for joined up evidence-based policy
making and accountability.
More effective accountability
: Increasing the information
available to the public and stakeholder groups by which to judge
the performance of Government agencies and programmes,
thereby encouraging better performance going forward. Better
performance data also aids control agencies and Ministers in
holding Government agencies to account. An important
foundation of good democracy is good information.
The availability of a specialised central resource for
agencies to draw upon will in some areas reduce the cost of
opening up their data. Furthermore, proactively making data
available may reduce the frequency and cost of responding to
Official Information Act requests, and data sharing between
agencies (an open by design approach will reduce future costs in
Improve private sector performance by:
Facilitating the development and evolution of new products
reliant on data held by Government agencies. In
some cases this will lead to a contestable market for products and
services that were previously provided by Government alone.
This can lead to more efficient products meeting the needs of a
wider range of stakeholders.
Improving base strategic and operational decision making
through more and better quality data. Also, it will make more data
available for research, thereby improving the rigour and validity of
that research and, in turn, the judgements and decisions based
Ultimately, benefits will accrue to New Zealand businesses and workers
through increased profits and wages, and to consumers/clients through
the availability of a wider range, and better value products and services.
The benefits will become apparent by an increase in producer and
consumer surpluses. These benefits accrue from both private and public
The benefits of open data happen once data has been released and
reused; therefore, it is difficult to provide a quantitative estimate of their
likely size. Nevertheless, there is reason to believe the benefits will be
large, and the more high value datasets that are released, the greater the
benefits with their repeated reuse. Option 2 has been selected as the
preferred option as the middle ground between a broad brush approach to
open data, and a focus on the higher value datasets in greatest demand
by Government and non-Government users.
Although there has been no New Zealand study on the value of public
data to third parties, estimates on benefits from opening up Government
data in other jurisdictions range from 0.4%-1.5% of GDP. Recent case
studies in the United Kingdom have identified benefit to cost ratios of up to
5-10:1.5 While these results are not directly transferrable to New Zealand,
they do provide an indication of the general magnitude of benefits from
successful implementation of open Government data.
5 Open Data Challenge Series at “opendatabarometer.org”.
To achieve the benefits listed above, there needs to be improved
Government open data performance. This will be demonstrated by an
increased rate of open datasets that meet specified standards of quality.
New Zealand experience suggests that the Open Government Information
and Data Programme has contributed to rates of release that are at least
twice as high as what would have otherwise occurred.
Progress can be
further demonstrated by the opening up of priority datasets. Priority
datasets will be chosen through further engagement with potential users,
including surveys, roundtables and assessment of information requests,
and complemented by overseas experience on where value has been
The funding needed for the Programme is as follows:
16/17 17/18 18/19 19/20 Total
$2 m $1.9 m $1.7 m $1.6 m $7.2 m
The funding is being sought from the Data and Analytics Contingency
provided for in Budget 16. The contingency provides funding for a
maximum of four years for any initiative. Officials believe this limited
period is appropriate. Towards the end of the four years the Programme
should be reviewed to see whether its continuation is necessary, and if so,
on what scale. An objective of the Programme is to achieve systems
momentum that automatically promotes open Government data.
Government agencies have an obligation to release open data (as per
CAB Min (11) 29/12), which will incur costs in meeting this objective.
Therefore, these costs should be met from within existing agency funding.
In most cases these costs are not expected to be substantial. This may
have a minor impact on surpluses and/or other expenditures/activities
deemed by the agency to be of lower priority.
There is no market of buyers and sellers for Government data. This
means there is no data “supply price” to automatically encourage
Government agency supply to meet user demand (where the marginal
cost of supply equals the marginal benefit to users). Instead, non-market
(administrative) mechanisms, such as Government statements of
commitment, performance agreements and monitoring, are being used to
incentivise Government agencies to meet user demand. The inherent
weakness with this approach is that it can take a number of adjustments
to the administrative levers before data demand and supply are
In the event the work programme outlined above is not opening up data at
a rate and in ways most valued by users, officials will give priority to
looking at options to mitigate remaining barriers.
Moreover, at this point officials do not support funding beyond that being
sought, instead preferring a more gradual increase in activity so that there
is less risk of “overshooting” the target (to where the additional costs of
the Programme start to exceed the additional benefits).
Other risks identified by officials include the legal risk arising from the
release of more Government data, and the inevitability of frivolous and
vexatious uses to which some information might be put.
These are business as usual risks across the Government system that are
managed by accurate disclosures around the information released and
robust and efficient processes for managing public and stakeholder
engagement. To the extent there is more interaction between
Government and the public following data release, it is to be expected that
over time the quality of that engagement will increase, generating benefits
for Government agencies and their stakeholders.
Action by agencies has been constrained by available capacity and
capability. This proposal partially addresses these constraints through
providing technical expertise, more direct support for delivery, and tools to
assist the release of data. Nevertheless, agencies will still need to be
willing and have available resources to invest in open data.
Potential data users do not necessarily have a good understanding of the
data held by Government agencies and so will not seek the release of that
data. The stocktake of datasets will in part address this problem. Careful
monitoring and dialogue with stakeholders will reveal the extent to which
these and other constraints remain a problem.
The Open Government Information and Data Programme operates in a
wider Government data environment and has strong linkages (and in
some instances dependencies) with other Government programmes such
Statistics New Zealand proposed bid for the DatArcade, which
includes a coordination function to ensure duplication is avoided.
The Department of Internal Affair’s redevelopment of
Data.govt.nz, which is a platform for cataloguing open data – the
Open Data Programme will accelerate the availability of datasets
to be catalogued on this platform.
The State Service Commission’s Open Government Programme,
where open data is a key action within this programme.
Social Investment Unit’s Data Superhighway, which wil make
agency shared data more available.
Data Futures Partnership and its engagement with civil society
and its work on social licence.
We are working closely with these other agencies to ensure there is
minimal overlap in functions and that the work is a complementary part of
a cohesive group of interventions.
An Open Government Data Case Study
Helping Kiwis make smart property
A new online tool helps users determine a fair market value for
: LINZ Data Service
Source: LINZ Formats
3.0 New Zealand
Property NZ Ltd
Providing free property insights to the New Zealand market
: Schools Enrolment
2013 – Current
: Ministry of Education
Determining a fair market value for a property you are purchasing in
New Zealand can often be expensive and the information difficult to
: Creative Commons
access. When trying to decide between multiple properties, it can be
3.0 New Zealand
even tougher. Enter homes.co.nz.
With a goal to give every Kiwi home-owner an easy and free way to
search for property data, homes.co.nz offers a simple, searchable
online property tool.
“Making smarter property decisions is something we want to help Kiwis
achieve,” says Co-Founder, Jamie Kruger. “We wanted to bring to New
Zealand the ease of which other countries freely share their property
Using property data purchased from local councils, homes.co.nz then
“The core to making
adds layers of open data to provide a bigger picture of a property and
its surrounding community.
This information includes address and property boundary data from the understanding the
LINZ Data Service, and Schools Enrolments Zones data from Ministry of market. Open data
can help make this
Over time, as more open data is made available by government,
homes.co.nz aims to add additional data such as transport details,
demographic information, suburb profiles, bond data, and accessibility
They already have existing technology which can add data such as the
newly released Auckland Unitary Plan to show homeowners how the proposed plan
would influence their property and local suburbs.
homes.co.nz say their philosophy is to always provide free property data to New
Zealanders. They believe free access to property data will increase efficiencies within
the property market, and improve the knowledge of fair market values on properties.
Impacts from homes.co.nz include creating a more efficient property market through
enabling free accessibility of information; increasing market visibility which enables
buyers to set true market values; and creating a symbiotic relationship between
themselves and government to ensure easy flow of data and information which will
add value to areas such as rates data, rentals and building consents.
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What Ministers can expect to be delivered over 1 year and 3 years
The Open Data programme will be focussed on three key work streams:
Mandate and monitoring
- Establish a clear mandate in conjunction with other data
agencies to prioritise the release of open government data. Work will include
investigating options to strengthen monitoring (and providing advice to SSC on CE
KPIs and inclusion in agency audits and PIFs) to establish stronger incentives for
agencies to accelerate open data release.
– Work intensively with some key agencies to help them release
high value, in-demand datasets. This work is likely to involve a stocktake of the
current state of their data, identifying their key barriers to release open data, and
working with them to overcome barriers.
– Build a broad level of capability across agencies through a range of
activities including redeveloping online tools; providing advice on practical ways to
release data; and raising awareness through a more consolidated online presence.
In the first year most effort will go into strengthening the mandate and beginning intensive
work with a small number of agencies. Residual effort will go into building system capability
across government agencies through the enabling work stream.
Mandate and monitoring:
Work on strengthening the current mandate, including providing advice on the
possible adoption of the Open Data Charter (currently out for consultation) and
supporting operating principles if adopted. This work will be done in consultation with
other data agencies such as Statistics NZ and DIA.
Support central agencies to investigate and advise Ministers about other options for
strengthening the open government data mandate.
Work with DIA on the design of an online monitoring tool on Data.govt to measure
data quality change over time (possibly through adaption of the Open Data Institute
Work intensively with a few agencies (currently MBIE and MPI) to accelerate their
open data release through a stocktake of their datasets, roundtables to support open
data decision making, identification of barriers to release, and providing or facilitating
Adapt the Australian online toolkit for use in New Zealand
Support the fellowship model run by Aoteroa New Zealand
Create a new web platform to help people find resources more easily, such as on-line
tools and advice.
At the end of Year 1 we expect that there will be a stronger, clearer open data mandate
ready for implementation. We will have successfully supported key agencies to release high
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value in-demand data. Improved enabling tools for agencies to open data will be available.
There will be a strong online presence raising awareness of open data to stimulate demand
for new data releases. Once the toolset and online platform are developed, these will require
little on-going work.
Building on the work done during the first year, the focus will continue to be on mandate and
monitoring and intensive support work streams.
Mandate and monitoring:
Implement the strengthened mandate with agencies holding datasets
Develop a ‘permissions framework’ to assist agencies with open data decision
Support central agencies in the implementation of any agreed mandate such as CE
KPIs, Performance Improvement Framework reviews, and Office of the Auditor-
Drawing on our experience in Year 1, work intensively with other agencies (such as
NZTA, DOC and Treasury) to accelerate their open data releases
Shift the focus to include local government and CRIs who hold significant datasets.
Maintain online toolkits and update as necessary, and adapt for local government and
Use tools to build best practice and standards
Ongoing awareness raising initiatives, both online and external
Research benefits and barriers for open data (including case studies) to highlight the
benefits of Open Data and options for managing costs and risks.
By the end of Year 3, the building blocks will have been enhanced and a significant
acceleration of agencies opening data is expected. Most high value datasets will have been
opened. Local government and CRIs will have opened some high value data. There will be a
shift towards ‘Open by Design’ with these principles embedded in the way agencies manage
data on an ongoing basis. At the macro level we expect to see benefits accruing from
products and services designed using open data and greater public engagement in initiatives
based on open data.
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