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Government Chief Data Steward

This role supports the use of data as a resource across government to help deliver better services to New Zealanders.

Who holds this role

Mark Sowden is the Government Chief Data Steward (GCDS), and the Chief Executive of Stats NZ.

What the GCDS does

The GCDS is the government functional lead for data. 

The GCDS responds to new and emerging data issues, and ensures that government agencies have the capability and right skills to maximise the value of data. This is achieved through setting data standards and establishing common capabilities, developing data policy and strategy, and planning.

Over the past year the GCDS has worked in partnership across the state sector to:

  • co-develop a Data Stewardship Framework to enable agencies to manage data as a strategic asset and benchmark their data maturity
  • lead the government’s commitment to accelerate the release of open data, including the implementation of the International Open Data Charter
  • develop data governance across the system through evolving approaches to data ethics and Māori data governance.

More information

The role of Government Chief Data Steward (GCDS)

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