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Property & Rating Valuation Data

Data relating to properties in New Zealand - Rating Valuations, Construction Materials/Date, Floor/Land Areas, Legal Descriptions & Title numbers

Allowing Kiwi companies to build innovative services utilizing this data, or interesting views on this data - especially given that it is relevant to a large proportion of home-owning New Zealanders. Consider something like http://mashblock.co.nz, for instance.

Allowing Open Govt advocates to build a simple, openly accessibly API to this data for the aforementioned services.


Response from
Quotable Value Limited

Data not suitable for release

The data mentioned is part of the District Valuation Roll (DVR) maintained by independent Valuation Service Providers on behalf of Territorial Authorities (TAs) around New Zealand, and is already freely available on the majority of TA websites at an individual property level, in acknowledgement of its interest and relevance to homeowners.

The TAs are within their rights to commercially license the use of DVR data supply in bulk, providing a valuable source of revenue to TAs that helps offset the cost of maintaining the DVR data, thereby reducing the financial burden on ratepayers. This is permitted under the Rating Valuations Act. PropertyIQ (of which Quotable Value is a 50% shareholder) is one example of a company that has made a multi-million dollar investment in licensing this bulk DVR data from TAs in recent years.

PropertyIQ already make commercial licenses available to both data resellers and end users who wish to undertake commercial use of the bulk DVR data. It also responds to requests from not-for-profit entities (e.g. tertiary institutions) for non-commercial use of the data.

A number of NZ companies already use their legitimately acquired commercial rights to build innovative products, services and commentary around the bulk DVR data.

Some entities who wish to attempt to use the bulk DVR data for commercial purposes without entering into appropriate licensing arrangements have attempted to circumvent the need to pay for this data by putting forward OIA or LGOIMA requests to TAs for bulk supply of the data.

The Ombudsman has ruled that TAs are within their rights to deny this type of request (including those under the OIA and on grounds of public good) for bulk supply of the DVR data as it would compromise existing commercial relationships, and that data is available freely available at an individual property level already.

3 Comments

  • Andryo Marzuki

    The initial inquiry here was nearly 10 years ago. I feel like the space and environment in regards to Open Data have drastically changed with most Councils already providing a good chunk of their data in bulk.

    With LINZ titles, parcels and memorials freely available, is there a reason that this crucial and valuable dataset is still pay-walled?

  • Robert Collins

    This turns up as a requirement at literally every govhack. The folk that are building interesting open government mashups are asking for this again and again.

    Your (Quotable Value's) response boils down to "TA's can charge, we can charge, therefore we will and this data isn't suitable for opening because if it was open no-one would choose to use our for-fee service."

    But just because you can doesn't make it good. You haven't put forward a principled reason in your case - as you note the data is already accessible, so there's no privacy concern. Basically you've made a business out of this, and don't want to lose that - fair enough.

    But it doesn't have to be win-lose: think about how we can get this done, not about how to stop it.

    For instance:
    - The TAs could choose to privide this freely, in line with open government open data, even though they are *permitted* to charge. That would lower your costs and surely be good for you too as a result.

    - Even a disaggregated view that permitted open access (e.g. a single registry of DVR API endpoints) would permit very interesting apps reasonably easily.

    - Or perhaps the government could choose to use you as a central provider, paying you for offering the service (at some agreed SLA and scale), while still making this important public resource accessible.

    Ultimately though, you need to ask yourself whether you want to be part of locking up our public data, or part of freeing it: one position is much more just than the other, and its up to you to choose whether you're part of reaching that solution or not.

  • James Low

    5 years on and the government is now pushing a National Policy Statement for Urban Development to address inadequate land supply/escalating housing costs.

    QV holds the only centralised (mandated) source of data developers, other councils, the public can use to assess land availability. Free access to a data layer showing building consent issue date, type and location could be used for real-time analysis of land supply as required in the draft NPS. The alternative (as will now occur) is numerous small projects to gather this same information. Duplicitous, costly and wasteful.

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