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He Tāngata Principle

Focus on improving people’s lives — individuals, children and young people, whānau, iwi and communities.

The He Tāngata Principle has a special role. It wraps around the Data Protection and Use Policy (DPUP) as a whole. It reminds us that everything we do with data should be with the following question in mind.

How does this contribute toward the wellbeing of the individual or community?

Strive to create positive outcomes from any collection, sharing or use of data and information

  • Any collection, use or sharing of data and information must be for a reasonable and well-defined purpose.
  • There should be an easy to understand, tangible link between the purpose for which data or information is collected, used or shared, and the benefits for people. The benefit might be for certain individuals, whānau, a community or iwi, or the benefit may be a public good.
  • Because actions and outcomes are not always clear cut, risks and potential negative outcomes should be assessed so it’s clear how these balance against positive outcomes.

Use checks and balances and ensure that information is reasonably necessary for the purpose

  • Data and information exist in many different forms. Some information is more suitable or acceptable for certain purposes than others. Look at the purpose carefully before considering what information makes the most sense to use.
  • Some purposes need more oversight and checks than others to make sure they are well-defined and reasonable.
  • Only the minimum information needed to achieve the outcome should be collected, used or shared.

What he tāngata means for DPUP

The use of he tāngata comes from the whakataukī (Māori proverb):

He aha te mea nui? Māku e kii atu, he tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata.

What is the most important thing in the world? Well, let me tell you, it is people, it is people, it is people.

So, in this context, the use of he tāngata means that people — individuals, whānau and communities — are placed at the centre of everything we do.

The goal of lifting them up, empowering them and improving their wellbeing is at the forefront of how we care for them and their information. It reminds us that when working with people’s information, we are working in their service.

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