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This page lays out the refreshed system strategy for the government data system of Aotearoa NZ. The strategy was published as part of the Government Data Strategy and Roadmap 2021.

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What do we want to achieve?

The refreshed Government Data Strategy and Roadmap is designed to create an inclusive and integrated data system that supports innovation safely.

An inclusive data system means anyone who wants to access data to inform decision-making can do so in a way that works for them. Inclusivity ensures that the people of Aotearoa New Zealand see themselves reflected in the data the system produces.

An integrated data system creates maximum insight with minimum burden for providers of data. Standards, guidance and protocols ensure data can be found, managed, shared, combined, and re-used. An integrated data system means data can be shared easily while also protecting privacy, security, and confidentiality.

The activities prioritised by the Government Data Strategy and Roadmap will give effect to the following objectives:

  • people trust the data they share with government will be collected, managed, and used safely and responsibly
  • Māori and iwi have the data system they need to fulfil their aspirations
  • people and organisations have access to efficient, effective government services
  • government decisions are informed by the right data at the right time
  • government is held to account through a robust and transparent data system.

The focus areas

The strategy has four focus areas. Each focus area has a set of outcomes. These outcomes provide an accountability mechanism for ensuring the government meets the goals required to implement the strategy effectively. All of the activity outlined in the strategy and roadmap is underpinned by a responsibility to uphold Te Tiriti and a commitment to maintaining and enhancing public trust and confidence.

Te Tiriti is in the middle of a circle of the four focus areas: Data, Capability, Trust, and Leadership. The circle sits inside a teardrop shape labeled Trust. Beneath the teardrop shape is Monitor and report on the health of the government data system

Focus Areas


The data focus area is about making sure the right data is available and able to be accessed, used and re-used across government.

  • Current and future data needs across the data system are captured and understood.
  • The right decisions and investments are being made to improve the data system.
  • Data is open, inclusive, accessible, and findable.
  • Data quality is fit for purpose.
  • Iwi and Māori have the data they need for governance.
  • Iwi and Māori actively govern their own data.


The capability focus area is about developing capabilities and skills within our people to create, collect, manage, and use data across government.

  • Workforce capabilities and career opportunities meet needs across the data system.
  • The importance of data and what is being represented through the data is understood and respected.
  • Iwi and Māori have the data capability they need.
  • Upskilling opportunities, qualifications and credentials exist to continue to build capability.


The leadership focus area is about ensuring that clear rules and system settings are in place and are well understood.

  • Approach to managing and maintaining standards is fit for purpose.
  • Māori data governance is embedded in the data system.
  • Legislation, regulations and rules are aligned across the data system.
  • Design principles, protocols and frameworks exist across the data system.
  • Aotearoa NZ complies with international agreements for data collection, management, and use.
  • Ethics and practices relating to data collection, management, and use are aligned across the data system.


The infrastructure focus area is about building the infrastructure that enables effective data management and reuse.

  • Data can be integrated across government and with other holders of data.
  • Data is shared safely with those who need it (and are authorised to use it).
  • Data is published and easily accessed where appropriate.
  • The right metadata (contextual information) exists to manage and use the data effectively.
  • A system-wide architecture exists to optimise the creation, holding, and use of data.
  • Infrastructure and support exists for iwi and Māori.
  • Partnerships exist between the Government Chief Digital Officer and the Government Chief Data Steward.

Underpinning Elements

Te Tiriti

The underpinning element of Te Tiriti is about working together with iwi and Māori partners to fulfil crown responsibilities to Te Tiriti through support of Māori and iwi data needs.

  • The government data system gives effect to the expectations of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  • Co-design processes with iwi and Māori are in use.
  • Māori data sovereignty is recognised and understood across the system.
  • Ngā Tikanga Paihere guidelines are implemented across the data system.
  • A reciprocal relationship exists between Crown, Māori and iwi.


The underpinning element of Trust is about making sure people can trust the data they share with government will be collected, managed, and used safely, and responsibly.

  • Public trust in how government agencies use their personal information will be high and maintained over time.
  • Guidance and regulatory settings for data to be used safely and ethically exist.
  • Government sets a strong example through consistent use of data practices.
  • Mechanisms for testing and understanding new and emerging uses of data are in use.

The principles

There are five principles that frame how we will work to implement the strategy for the government data system. The principles are adapted from the Data Protection and Use Policy, the Mana Ōrite Relationship Agreement between Stats NZ and the Data Iwi Leaders Group, and the Public Service Act.


Respect and uphold the mana and dignity of the people, whānau, communities and groups who share their data and information.

Mana Whakahaere

Empower people by giving them a choice and enabling their access to, and the use of, their data and information


A shared culture of respect, guardianship, care and protection for data as a strategic and valued resource, recognising that for some Māori, Māori data is a taonga and iwi-Māori are kaitiaki over their taonga.


Leadership that focuses on common purpose whilst also respecting the autonomy and independence of individuals, groups and agencies.


Strong transparent relationships through respect, integrity, empathy and commitment to the kaupapa.


The Information Group are the key governance body for the Government Data Strategy and Roadmap. They are responsible for setting, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing the progress made against the strategy.


Setting direction, Implementing and reviewing are the responsibilities of the Information Group. They share the responsibility for Monitoring with the Data System Leadership at Stats NZ, which also holds responsibility for Evaluating, Planning and reporting, Risk management and Communications and engagement. Both support the Government Chief Data Steward.

Contact us

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

Content last reviewed September 17 2021.