Harnessing the economic and social power of data

1 Aug 2014

This paper sets out an agenda intended to advance New Zealand's ability to unlock the latent value of its data assets and position New Zealand as a world leader in the trusted and inclusive use of shared data to deliver a prosperous society.


We think New Zealand can achieve the vision of being a world leader in the trusted use of shared data to deliver a prosperous, inclusive society by implementing the four principles of value, inclusion, trust and control, and by focusing strongly on how data is used.

  • We need to develop a robust data-use ecosystem, with agile, responsive institutions and effective rules of the game, to support data use. We suggest an independent data council be established to focus on promoting data use and the implementation of our principles. We also recommend some changes to legislation to ensure we have effective rules of the game.
  • We need to treat our data as important strategic assets, and use them to tackle immediate and real problems. Let’s build on the great data projects already happening in New Zealand and get more underway. We make some suggestions for strategies and projects that will enable New Zealand to derive value safely from our treasure trove of data.
  • We can support this by laying further foundations for a trusted data-use ecosystem. We recommend a wide variety of initiatives and approaches that will support each of the four principles.

In what follows, we present some of the thinking that led to our recommendations, including some suggestions about different types of data use that are possible. This thinking and our conversations with others helped us to develop our vision and our recommendations for an environment where New Zealand businesses, government, researchers, Maori and the public collaborate to share, link and use data to promote innovation, while protecting the rights of individuals.

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