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This post was written by Rochelle Stewart-Allen, Senior Advisor for the Open Government Information and Data Programme at Land Information New Zealand.

What’s your view on managing government data and information?

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) recently began a public engagement programme about New Zealand adopting the International Open Data Charter and we’d like to hear your views.

How Government data is being released, managed and accessed in New Zealand is a hot topic right now. At recent events including the GovHack weekend, the OS/OS conference, the Open Government Partnership co-creation workshop and teleconferences, we have been involved in many discussions about how easy or difficult it is to access government data, and what can be done to improve it.

At Open Data NZ, we are keen to look at how data is being managed and whether there are ways we can make it easier for both government to release and the public to access. As one step towards this, we are reviewing the current principles being used to manage the data and information government holds, and whether New Zealand should adopt the International Open Data Charter (ODC).


In August 2011, Government adopted the New Zealand Data and Information Management Principles (NZDIMP) which were built on the concepts of quality, ownership, stewardship and custodianship.

In 2015, under the umbrella of the Open Government Partnership, open data experts from governments, multilateral organizations, civil society and private sector, worked together to develop the ODC with six principles for the release of data.

We are currently engaging with government and non-government stakeholders to get feedback on whether New Zealand should adopt the ODC, and if New Zealand should keep the current NZDIMP.

Here is a simple comparison of the two sets of principles:

International Open Data Charter

  1. Open by default
  2. Timely and comprehensive
  3. Accessible and usable
  4. Comparable and interoperable
  5. For improved governance and citizen engagement
  6. For inclusive development and innovation

NZ Data and Information Management Principles

  1. Open
  2. Protected
  3. Readily available
  4. Trusted and authoritative
  5. Well managed
  6. Reasonably priced
  7. Reusable

A more detailed comparison of the two set of principles is available in this document.

Discussion to date

To date, we have canvassed initial views on the two sets of principles through an online consultation on We've asked people if they support adopting the ODC and what their reasons are. You can see the input we have received and contribute your own thoughts through until 30 September. We have also received input through the Open Government Ninjas online group, as well as the teleconferences and workshops undertaken as part of the recently completed process to develop the Open Government Partnership Action Plan.

Broadly, there has been clear support for adopting the ODC with people identifying that its principles are forward-thinking and comprehensive. Some people also believe that adopting the ODC would keep us at the forefront of developments internationally. This said, some submitters also supported the continuing use of the NZDIMP alongside the ODC if adopted.

Given this initial level of support, we are now keen to have a deeper discussion on the principles under which the New Zealand government releases data. We are using Loomio which lets you to post a topic or proposal, and then encourage others to discuss it and work toward consensus about the proposition.

We would like to encourage you to join the Phase 2 discussion Should New Zealand adopt the Open Data Charter? and to spread the word through your network. This discussion will also stay open until the end of September. To receive ongoing email updates about the Open Data Charter consultation you can also subscribe to our mailing list.

We would like to encourage you to have a say on the principles that the government should use for the management of its data and information. Once these are decided, we intend to raise awareness and the use of the principles widely throughout government.

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