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New Zealand to free statistical data

Wellington, N. Zealand, July 19, 2007: The New Zealand government has announced as part of its 2007 Budget that it is removing charges from a raft of statistical data that it collects and making it free, with the specific intention of stimulating the business and nonprofit sectors of the economy.

It won’t cover everything, though the department reckons it will mean that 90% of the current requests for information will be free. And, it adds, “detailed information about industries or small geographic areas, for example, will not be freely available on this website as this information is subject to quality and confidentiality checks”.

The data being made available is not basic map data per se (administered by Land Information New Zealand, which is the equivalent of the UK’s Ordnance Survey, Hydrographic Office and Land Registry combined), but is starting with “digital boundaries” and similar data. Used in a geographical information system (GIS), these will show information delineated by boundaries that can be as small as a suburb.