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Open government information and data programme

The Open Government Information and Data Programme ended on 30 June 2020. However, this did not signal the end of the Government's commitment to open data. Instead, it marked the transition from a time-boxed programme into an on-going government wide coordination of efforts, led by the Government Chief Data Steward.

The Government Chief Data Steward

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About the programme


The programme was a cross-government programme designed to accelerate the release and reuse of open government data to maximise the value of that data. The programme began 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.

Since then, the focus was 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.

New Zealand data and licensing framework (NZGOAL)
The declaration of open and transparent government
The New Zealand data and information principles


Among other things, the open data NZ's workplan included:

  • directly helping government agencies learn about and release open government data via the data catalogue and data stocktakes
  • the data champions network
  • leading the efforts that placed New Zealand seventh in the Open Data Barometer global rankings for readiness, implementation and impact of open data
  • being the link between the data and the citizens looking
  • representing New Zealand government in the international open data community, joining the Open Data Institute Leaders’ Network, the Open Data Charter, and the OECD Open Data Expert Group
  • supporting local initiatives, such as GovHack, International Open Data Day, and the Open Government Ninjas online group.

Open Data Barometer
Open Data Institute Leaders' Network
Open Data Charter
OECD Open Data Expert Group
International Open Data Day
Open Government Ninjas

Additional information about the programme

Open data action plan
Open data maturity dashboard
Consultations and reports completed during the programme

Independent review of the programme

At the closing of the Open Government Data Programme, Stats NZ commissioned an independent reviewer to produce an Independent review of the Open Data Programme. The report focused on two key things:

  • an assessment of the programme's operation and performance against its expected outcomes 
  • recommendations based on lessons learnt that may inform the work of future cross-government data programmes.

The closure report is an output from direct comments and feedback from the interviews and analysis from the independent reviewer. 

Independent review of the Open Data Programme [PDF 381 KB]
Independent review of the Open Data Programme [HTML]

Plans following the closure

As mentioned above, although the programme has officially closed, many of the actions and engagements mentioned below remain active. However, they are now handled as an ongoing commitment of the Government Chief Data Steward. For instance, we will continue to:

  • champion for open data
  • publish resources to help organisations understand, manage, use, and release data
  • be a central point in the data champions network 
  • receive dataset requests and work to resolve those.

If you wish to learn more about what is currently underway, or wish to learn more about things achieved in the past, please contact us.  

Data champions network

Shifting the culture to an 'open by default' approach remains the main challenge to the open data ecosystem. Each government agency was encouraged to appoint an executive data champion to lead the release of open data across their organisation. Data champions were also a key point of contact for other government agencies and external users.

The data champion network was a key part of the work to release open data across the New Zealand government. Data champions provided core entry points into an agency and ensure engagement at the right level, in the right way.

The data champions network will continue to exist after the closure of the programme. To learn more, contact us. 

Connecting with the programme

Although the programme has officially closed, you are still able to access all public communications on Twitter, Youtube, or at Meetup.



The programme no longer publishes newsletters, but all of our past newsletters remain available.

Read our past newsletters here

Contact us

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

Content last reviewed 20 August 2020.

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