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Government Chief Data Steward
October 2018

Factsheet: New Zealand’s data strategy and roadmap [PDF 78 KB]


Setting the direction for New Zealand’s data

Data has the power to change lives and create better outcomes for New Zealanders by informing government policy and decision-making.

Stats NZ is supporting and empowering agencies to use data more effectively while maintaining the trust and confidence of New Zealanders.

Government holds a vast amount of data on behalf of New Zealanders. This data has the potential to be a valuable asset both for government and outside government, driving innovation and contributing to economic, social, and environmental progress.

When used securely – protecting privacy and confidentiality – and with New Zealand’s trust and confidence, data can provide rich insights about us and our communities.

The Chief Executive of Stats NZ has been appointed as the Government Chief Data Steward (GCDS) to support the government’s priority to get more value from data.

The GCDS leads this work by facilitating and enabling an inclusive, joined-up approach across government to set standards and establish common capabilities. This includes developing data policy, infrastructure, strategy, and planning. Ensuring agencies have the capability and skills to maximise the value they get from data is key.

Recognising that data is a taonga for Māori, Stats NZ stewards data responsibly, with and for future generations. We’re working with Māori to help build data capability, access more data, and use it as a strategic asset.

At the heart of this work is transparency around how government uses the data it holds on behalf of New Zealanders.

Government Chief Data Steward



The availability of new data and sophisticated technologies has enabled new and exciting data uses that continue to transform how we see, act, and engage with the world.

The data strategy and roadmap (roadmap) was commissioned by the GCDS to provide a shared direction and plan for New Zealand’s data system (the people and organisations that collect and use data in New Zealand). The roadmap will enable organisations within and outside government to connect data initiatives, work together, and align their efforts to generate the maximum impact and value through data.


Focus areas

Four focus areas were identified to achieve a responsive, sustainable, and joined up data system:

  • investing in making the right data available at the right time
  • growing data capability and supporting good practice
  • building partnerships within and outside government
  • implementing open and transparent practices.

The current phase of work is focused on mapping ongoing and planned data initiatives. These initiatives will establish practical ways the roadmap can help create value for New Zealand.


How the roadmap was developed

Multiple rounds of consultation saw key stakeholders – primarily from central and local government, but also businesses, community organisations and NGOs – participate in a series of workshops and interviews.

Stakeholders also provided independent technical guidance and expertise. Throughout the development they rigorously tested the direction of the roadmap to ensure it was future-focused, robust, practical, and able to be adapted to different data sources and uses.


Next steps

As a living document, the roadmap is designed to be updated as needed. It will lay a strategic, responsive, and flexible foundation to support and enable more effective and efficient data use, reduce costs, and support innovation.

The roadmap’s initial focus is on government’s role in enabling a well-functioning data system. Over time, the focus will broaden to include non-government organisations (NGOs), local government, and the private sector.

Activity over the next 3–5 years will focus on key areas for improvement. Where we can, we’ll aim for maximum impact as we work towards creating a sustainable and responsive data system for New Zealand.

Data initiatives from across government will be identified to understand what’s being worked on so we can:

  • establish a shared direction
  • align goals and efforts
  • identify future investment opportunities and areas for collaboration.


Contact us

If you’d like more information, have a question, or want to provide feedback, please email

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