Open Data

What is Open Data?

Open data is data that is free to access and reuse. Truly open data can be viewed, cut, cropped, mashed or otherwise re-purposed — without any technical, legal or price barriers. This means that it is available in open formats and is openly licensed or copyright-free.

Open data allows us to save time and money that would otherwise be spent accessing or reproducing data. It also allows us to make innovative new services and products mashing up datasets from a range of sources; it can also help make public agencies more transparent.

Creative Commons and Open Data

Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand believes that data — especially publicly funded data — should be made available to the public for reuse, unless there is a good reason to keep it closed.

Creative Commons provides two kinds of free legal tools to enable data owners to open their data. The first is our suite of six Creative Commons licences, which you can learn more about here. The second is our two public domain tools, which you can use to dedicate your work to the public domain.

Open Data and the NZ Government

The good news is that governments around the world — including the New Zealand Government — have committed to release high-value datatsets under an open licence.

Using the New Zealand Government’s Open Access and Licensing framework, or NZGOAL, New Zealand public agencies are increasingly releasing their data under a Creative Commons Attribution licence as a matter of course. Read more about NZGOAL at our Open Government page.

Open Research Data

Increasingly, researchers are also opening their data for access and reuse. Open research data allows other researchers to analyse and build on research findings, speeding up the research process by ensuring that no one has to reinvent the wheel. To find out more about open research, visit our Open Research page.

Data Release Case Studies

  • New Zealand Transport Agency

Data Reuse Case Studies

  • Wiki New Zealand















Learn More

  1. OKFN’s introduction to open data
  2. Detailed Government guide to Creative Commons licensing and data
  3. OKFN’s open definition of open data
  4. New Zealand’s Paul Stone on open data
  5. OKFN’s open data handbook

 Find Open Data

  1. Government data catalogue
  2. Koordinates hosts many open datasets
  3. LINZ Data Service hosts geospatial datasets

Get Involved

The best way to get involved is to join one of the open data community groups, and introduce yourself:

Also, if you use open data in your work, get in touch: we’d love to write a case study to help show off your work!

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