Archives New Zealand is committed to increasing public access to our holdings. The Open Data programme at Archives New Zealand provides researchers with an alternative access point to our archival collections. Rich public data sets are available for use and re-use.
The Open Data concept was initiated in 2008 and was also known as the Open Government Information and Data Work Programme. The Work Programme aims to:
In 2009 a website was launched data.govt.nz, owned by DIA. It is a directory of publicly available, non-personal New Zealand government held datasets and is a dual way communication platform between government agencies and the public.
In 2011 Cabinet released the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government. This Declaration gives the directive for public service departments to "commit to releasing high value public data actively for re-use, in accordance with the Declaration and Principles, and in accordance with the NZGOAL Review and Release process".
Data is any kind of information that can be easily added to or cross-referenced with other information, and can be used as is by computer systems.
Data is often quantitative information: how many of these things are there? How often does this kind of thing occur? How much money was spent on this?
Data is typically found in databases, spreadsheets or tables. It can be complicated, with many different parts, or quite simple, like a list of things (for example, a list of all government websites).
Public data is data collected by agencies and funded by the taxpayer. Public data opened for reuse must not contain personal or classified information, or must be able to be anonymised or confidentialised before release.
High value public data is data that may spark innovative products, applications and services, or help members of the public make informed personal decisions and good choices about the government services they use, or make government decision-making more transparent and collaborative.
Archives New Zealand responded to the Declaration with two datasets released on data.govt.nz -- Chief Executive Expenses for July-December 2010 and the Women’s Suffrage Petition -- both released prior to the 2012/13 reporting period. Since late 2012 when a Branch Data Champion for Archives New Zealand was appointed to coordinate Open Data work, we have been considering how to use this platform to promote some of our key datasets.
Datasets serve as an extra access point to our archival collection. From here researchers can link from references to our main search engine Archway.
A full list of all available government datasets can be found on data.govt.nz
If you are interested in a particular data set that has not been released please use the request a dataset page on data.govt.nz. Once your request has been received by the Open Data Team the agency will be notified of your request. If the dataset is able to be released you will be notified when it is added to the repository on data.govt.nz.