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New Zealand has signed up to the International Open Data Charter, in a move to help drive innovation, support public accountability, and encourage engagement with government, Statistics Minister Scott Simpson has announced.

“The Government holds a vast amount of valuable data on behalf of New Zealanders.  Open government data is non-personal, unclassified and non-confidential, and is freely available to anyone to use and share.  Personal, confidential, and classified data remain protected,” Mr Simpson says.

“New Zealand has joined 17 countries, including Australia and the United Kingdom, in confirming its commitment to the practice of openness in government. 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.”

The International Open Data Charter is a non-binding agreement with six principles and supporting actions, mandating that data should be:

Always open unless there is a good reason not to be (‘open by default’) Timely and comprehensive Accessible and useable Comparable and use standardised formats For improved governance and citizen engagement For inclusive development and innovation.

“Supporting the Government priority for data, a key objective of signing up to the Charter is to ensure Government-held data is used to help achieve better outcomes for New Zealanders, through data-driven innovation, informed decision-making and evidence-based policy.”

Stats NZ, through its Government Statistician and Chief Executive, is responsible for the implementation of the Open Data Charter principles.

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