Open data is data that anyone can access, share and use. Data must be open, trusted, authoritative, well managed and readily available. Opening up data for reuse has widespread benefits to government, the private sector and the public.
New Zealand is internationally recognised as being an open and transparent government — opening up government data strengthens this.
Open Government Data Programme
The Open Government Data Programme (Open Data NZ) is a cross-government programme that takes a collaborative approach to making government data available for reuse.
Open Data NZ's work includes:
- representing the New Zealand government in the international open data community
- working with agencies to help release data
- working with users to better understand their data needs
- raising awareness about open data so people know it's available for them to use.
International Open Data Charter
New Zealand signed up to the International Open Data Charter in 2017. The charter supports and builds on the New Zealand Declaration on Open and Transparent Government and the supporting Data and Information Management Principles.
The charter has six principles and supporting actions. Data should be:
- open by default
- timely and comprehensive
- accessible and usable
- comparable and interoperable
- for improved governance and citizen engagement
- for inclusive development and innovation.
Applying these principles and actions will:
- reinforce New Zealand’s continued commitment to open data
- ensure New Zealand remains internationally aligned
- provide government agencies with clearer principles and supporting actions for accelerating the release of open government data.
New Zealand Government policies
The New Zealand Government approved the Data and Information Management Principles and the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government in 2011.
New Zealand Data and Information Management Principles
Data and information held by the NZ Government should be managed to a high standard. Data should be:
- readily available
- trusted and authoritative
- well managed
- reasonably priced
The Declaration on Open and Transparent Government
The declaration directs all Public Service departments, the NZ Police, the NZ Defence Force, the Parliamentary Counsel Office, and the NZ Security Intelligence Service to actively release high value public data.
Open data can help to:
- improve government by increasing transparency and tackling corruption
- build trust and confidence in government
- empower citizens so they can better participate in government decisions
- enable NZ to help solve global issues
- create new opportunities for citizens and organisations, by encouraging innovation and promoting economic growth and job creation
- solve public problems by giving citizens and policymakers access to data-driven evidence
- power government digital services
Opening your data for reuse
New Zealand Government Open Access and Licencing framework (NZGOAL) is all-of-government guidance for releasing copyright works and non-copyright material for reuse.
You should use NZGOAL guidance when you want to release open data.
NZGOAL aims to standardise the licensing of government information and data using Creative Commons licences.
Appointing a data champion
Government agencies are encouraged to appoint an executive data champion to lead the release of open data across their organisation. Data champions are a key point of contact for other government agencies and external users. The Data Champion Network is a key part of the work to release open data across the New Zealand government.