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Reviewing, approving, and mandating standards

Once a data content standard has been drafted by a working group and Stats NZ, it goes through a review and approval process.


Once the draft data content standard for a concept has been written, it is published online on the register of government data content standards and people have the opportunity to comment or provide feedback.

Register of government data content standards

At the same time Stats NZ sends it to the Challenge Review Committee, a technical review committee comprising 21 agencies from across the New Zealand government.

The Challenge Review Committee has six weeks to review the data content standard then provide written feedback to Stats NZ.

During the consultation we ask the 21 agencies on the Challenge Review Committee to respond with a clear 'endorse/do not endorse' for each standard. We also state that if they do not respond by the close of submission date, we will assume they have no feedback and endorse the standard.

Stats NZ collaborates with the original working group or key expert for each standard to ensure that all feedback is addressed. Once we have achieved majority support from the Challenge Review Committee for each standard, we prepare the standard to be presented to the Approval Board.

Approval and mandating

The Approval Board, comprising 15 government agencies, is introduced to the reviewed standards through an introductory report and initial face-to-face meeting. They are then given 4 weeks to consider the report and the standards.

If the proposed data content standards, and process to date, gain majority support from the Approval Board, the standards will go to the Government Chief Data Steward for their sign-off and to be mandated.

An on-going support and maintenance programme ensures standards remain fit for purpose.

Co-designing standards across government

Government Chief Data Steward

Contact us

If you would like to know more, please email


Last updated 5 December 2019