New Zealand is adopting the International Open Data Charter to make government data open by default.
The government confirmed its commitment to the practice of openness when Statistics Minister James Shaw co-signed a letter with government chief data steward Liz MacPherson on 1 March.
Shaw said the key reason for adopting the charter was to ensure government-held data is used to help achieve better outcomes for New Zealanders.
By opening up public agencies’ data, Shaw said the government is encouraging openness as the default setting for government agencies to make non-personal, unclassified and non-confidential data freely available to anyone to use and share.
Confidential and private information will remain protected and safeguarded.
“As well as meeting increased user demand for open data to drive innovation, this will ensure we are accountable, transparent, and resilient in our use of data,” Shaw said.
An Open Data Action Plan, implemented by Stats NZ, will set the direction for the charter’s implementation. The action plan will:
- Provide transparency about the data the government holds
- Equip agencies with better tools and resources, and
- Connect citizens and government
Online tools and resources and training will lift people’s capability to innovate, to inform decision-making, and to provide evidence-based policy through data.
The signing took place after the Minister and MacPherson spoke at the Open Data, Open Potential event in Wellington.