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Stats NZ steps up on data initatives for greater accessibility, use and value

New Zealand’s Statistics Minister Mark Mitchell has welcomed the transfer of the Government’s open data programme to Statistics New Zealand (Stats NZ), saying it will help boost the Government’s commitment to providing better and more freely available information.

“Stats NZ leads data analytics across Government, and as part of this has been tasked with managing the Open Data New Zealand programme,” Mr. Mitchell says.

The programme was previously headed by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and is designed to help agencies make more information openly available, which will help improve decision-making across agencies and support the Government’s commitment to invest in better and more efficient public services.

LINZ set a solid foundation and made great progress in encouraging Government agencies, Crown organisations, and local authorities to make their data more freely available. However, Stats NZ is a world-leader in data and analytics, and is best-placed to drive forward with the programme.

“Stats NZ has expertise in maximising the value we get from data, and will continue working with agencies to raise awareness and increase transparency around their data use. Access to high-value, non-personal data in the most useful and usable formats helps businesses, families, and individuals make more informed decisions such as where to start a business or where to buy a house,” Mr. Mitchell added. Prior to taking the lead on managing the Open Data New Zealand programme, it was also announced that Stats NZ will team up with its Netherlands counterpart to strengthen the way both agencies gather and use data.

Statistics NZ and Statistics Netherlands have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and will work together in an ongoing partnership.

“Both agencies are amongst the most modern and innovative institutions of their kind in the world, and this agreement will help ensure New Zealanders are getting the best possible value from data. The partnership is a great opportunity to leverage off each other’s strengths and skills, and learn about new insights into the creation of statistics,” Mr. Mitchell remarked.

Both agencies will share people through staff exchanges, and will consider ways to better analyse data and develop new approaches to producing statistics.

Mr. Mitchell reiterated, “The collaboration is not about sharing data, it is about improving methodologies and tools that help maximise the value of the statistics we produce. It is important our communities, businesses, Government agencies, and individuals have access to real-time and quality data, and this agreement will help improve the way New Zealanders receive and use information.”

The partnership will also involve experts from businesses, science organisations, and education providers who will help find ways to deliver better official statistics, such as producing real-time data.          

Read the press releases here & here.

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