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An open data sun rises, as another sets.

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The Open Government Information and Data Programme ended on 30 June 2020. Over its lifetime, the programme has raised awareness about open data and helped government organisations publicly release government data, with more than 15,500 government datasets now openly available to all New Zealanders on the Open Data Catalogue, found on

Open data catalogue

Although the programme has ended, this does not signal the end of Aotearoa New Zealand’s ongoing government commitment to open data. The commitment, planning, engagement, and ongoing mahi will continue across government, led by the Government Chief Data Steward.  

Government Chief Data Steward

If you need help to open your data, if you are looking for open data, or if you are merely curious about open data, keep bookmarked or contact us on

Also, we are always looking for feedback on and user research participants for Help us build the service that you need and expect.

The programme

The programme began as a cross-government effort in 2010 to support the adoption of the New Zealand government open access and licensing framework (NZGOAL), the declaration of open and transparent government and the New Zealand data and information principles, passed by Cabinet in August 2011.

New Zealand data and licensing framework (NZGOAL)

The declaration of open and transparent government

The New Zealand data and information principles

Since then, the focus had been on supporting and encouraging agencies as they implemented an open data and information culture and released open data. The programme moved to Stats NZ in 2017. A full description of the programme, its mission, action plan, implementation and progress reports, and engagement can be found on

Stats NZ

Open government data and information programme

The what and why of open data

Open data is data anyone can use and share. It has an open licence, is openly accessible and is both human-readable and machine-readable.

Open licence



You’re probably already using open data every day – for example:

  • geospatial information (getting from A to B)
  • weather data (deciding how to dress for the day)
  • Census data (making business decisions).

The value of data increases with its use and reuse. Therefore, open government data enables data to provide ongoing and increasing value to all areas of Aotearoa New Zealand. Open data also drives innovation.

For instance, open data is used by government organisations, non-government organitions, and individual citizen to contribute to evidence-based policy decisions, technological applications, research, and more.

Open data helps to build new business and encourages more strategic investment – creating new jobs, new industries and stronger economies. It can also lead to positive social and cultural outcomes, and can increase transparency and democratic participation.

You can find examples of open data reuse in the showcase on   

The open data show case

Open Data Toolkit

To learn more about open data, check out the open data toolkit.

A collaboration between Code for Aotearoa and Land Information New Zealand, the toolkit is designed to help government and open data enthusiasts understand the basic concepts of open data, plan and implement open government data programmes, and effectively approach ongoing open and transparent data use.

It also contains a comprehensive, but simplified, step-by-step guide for government officials trying to release open data.

Open data toolkit

Land Information New Zealand

View the open data toolkit on GitHub

Similarly, has prepared a release checklist which aims to simplify the process of releasing data on's open data catalogue. 

Open data release checklist

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash


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