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Frequently asked questions about Infoshare

Using Infoshare

What can I do in Infoshare?

With Infoshare you can:

  • Find tables by searching, or browsing through a list.
  • Use time series identifiers to find specific data.
  • Customise your table by defining what variables and values to include.
  • Change the format of your table.
  • Download your table in Excel or comma separated variable (CSV) format.
  • Save queries for re-use.
  • Print your table.

You can access a range of time-series data such as:

  • Economic information (eg price indexes and production figures).
  • Demographic measures (eg births, deaths and life expectancy).
  • Arrival and departure data.
  • Wholesale and retail trade information.
  • Exports and imports data.
  • Building consents data.

How do I find out how to use Infoshare?

Infoshare includes an online help guide with instructions on using Infoshare. A downloadable version is also available.

What download formats are available?

You can download data in Microsoft Excel and comma separated variable (CSV) formats.

Can I open Microsoft Excel directly from Infoshare?

For security reasons, the option to open Microsoft Excel directly from Infoshare cannot be used.

If you are using Internet Explorer, after you click on 'Go' you will see options to 'open' or 'save' or 'cancel'. Click on 'save' or use the pull down and click on 'save as'. When you have saved the Excel file, you can then open the file as normal.

If you are using Chrome, choose to 'Show in folder'. This will save the Excel file to a folder, open the folder, and highlight the downloaded file. You can then open the file as normal.

How do I find out about changes to data?

Infoshare has links to data changes and release dates in the Notices section.

Who do I contact for help using Infoshare?

If you have any queries or feedback please feel free to contact our Information Centre. Phone: 0508 525 525 (toll-free within New Zealand)
Fax: +64 4 931 4079
Email: info@stats.govt.nz

Table queries used in the load query tab 

What is a table query file?

A table query file is a saved Infoshare table that can be re-run using the 'Load query' tab, it has the file extension .tqx.

How do I create a table query file?

Click on the 'Browse' tab, click the table title of the table you wish to save as a table query. Select the variables and time, then choose 'Table query (.tqx)' from the drop down options at the bottom right of the screen, click 'Go'. You can now save the table query into one of your directories or folders. Give the file a valid file name and click 'Save'.   This table query file is now available to be run each period after the data has been released.

How do I get the most recent data from my table query file?

Go to the 'Load query' tab. Select your table query file using 'Browse', click 'add recent time periods' then click 'Go' to retrieve your data. This displays the most recent data in table form. Save your table.

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Time series

What is a time series?

A time series is a sequence of data points, normally measured at successive times, spaced at regular time intervals.

What is a time series identifier?

A time series identifier is a database identifier for a type of statistic produced by Statistics NZ and includes the time frequency at which the statistic is produced. Time series identifiers may have up to 20 characters - e.g. TIMM.SCXBR0901110000Q. Characters in the time series identifier are:
1-3: Data type (e.g. TIM=Imports)
4: Frequency (e.g. M=monthly)
5: Delimiter (".")
6: Separator (S)
7-8: Code level identifier (e.g. CX=10 digit)
9-10: Country code (e.g. BR=Brazil)
11-20: 10 digit item code (This could be 2, 4, 6, 10 or none)
21: Observation (e.g. Q=Quantity)

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Search files used in the export direct tab

What is a Search file?

A file containing a list of time series identifiers that allows you to retrieve the same information on a regular basis. The maximum number of time series identifiers allowed in a search file is 100. Search files will not work if they contain wildcard characters e.g. '*' and '+'.

How do I create a search file?

Click on the 'Search' tab. Type your three alpha character (found after the subject group in the browse tree), frequency (e.g. M, Q, A) and wildcard (e.g. + is a single character, * is any characters) e.g. CPIM+, CPIQ* in the search box. Click the 'Look for time series identifier' button, click 'Search'. This will return the results from your search. Each result will provide two options to either 'Select variables' or 'Select series identifiers'. Click on the 'Select series identifiers' option and it will open a screen where you can select the time series identifiers and time period e.g. monthly, quarterly, annual, half yearly or census. To save this as a search file select the time series identifiers you want and then select one time period. Choose 'Search file (.sch)' from the drop down options at the bottom right of the screen, click 'Go'. You can now save the search file into one of your directories or folders. Give the file a valid file name and click 'Save'. You can now use your search file in the Export Direct tab.

My search file isn’t working in Export Direct, what can I do to fix it?

Check for the following in your search files:

Spaces where there shouldn’t be spaces

  • When you download a search file that has spaces within it you will get a message that says “The file contains an invalid time series ID on line N”.
  • ‘N’ is the number of the line where the space or blank line/row is. It is these spaces that need deleting.  
  • To delete the spaces open your search file with Notepad and press ‘Ctrl A’ or click ‘Edit’ and then ‘Select All’, the blue areas that appear after the time series identifier(s) are the spaces that need deleting. Save your search file, ensure the ‘save as type’ is ‘all files’ to save the search file with a ‘.sch’ file extension.   
  • Try downloading the search file in Export Direct again.

Duplicate time series identifiers

  • When you download a search file that has duplicate time series identifiers in it you will get an error message that says “Unfortunately, an error has occurred. Please try again.”
  • To delete the duplicate time series identifiers open your search file with Excel, sort the data and identify the duplicate(s) by scanning the rows. Open your search file again but with Notepad, find the duplicate time series identifier(s) using the ‘Ctrl F’ function and delete them. Save your search file, ensure the ‘save as type’ is ‘all files’ to save the search file with a ‘.sch’ file extension. 
  • Try downloading the search file in Export Direct again.

Can I use overseas trade series identifiers within a search file?

Yes, you can use overseas trade series identifiers within a search file. Please note, you cannot use wildcards within your search files.

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Overseas merchandise trade data (imports, exports and re-exports)

What overseas merchandise trade data is available on Infoshare?

Overseas merchandise trade data (imports, exports and re-exports) is available at 10-digit Harmonised System (HS) level by country. However, care should be taken below the two-digit HS level as the data may contain errors or omissions that have not been detected by our editing processes.

Where do we source import and export data from?

We source import and export data from the New Zealand Customs Service administrative entries.

What checks does Statistics NZ do with New Zealand Customs Service information?

We rely considerably on exporters/importers and their agents providing correct data, although we do complete some validation, which can result in detected errors being corrected.

The focus of our checks is to authenticate the publication of trade statistics at an aggregated level (eg two-digit HS level and country totals) in our monthly Hot Off The Press information releases.

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Harmonised System Codes

What is a Harmonised System code?

A Harmonised System code is a two, four, six or 10-digit identifier assigned to import or export commodities. The commodities are classified according to the New Zealand Harmonised System Classification (NZHSC).

The Harmonised System code is called an HS code in Infoshare.

An example of a two-digit HS code description is ‘18 Cocoa and cocoa preparations’ and a 10-digit HS code description (the most detailed level) is ‘1801000000 Cocoa beans; whole or broken, raw or roasted’.

How do I find the HS code I want?

In Infoshare, you can search for the HS code in the ‘select variables’ screen or use the New Zealand Harmonised System Classification 2007 alphabetical index.

If you still can't find the HS code you want, contact your customs broker or the New Zealand Customs Service.

Can I search for HS codes and key words?

Yes, you can search for HS codes and key words.

Are HS codes amended?

Yes, HS codes are amended occasionally to keep current with commodities being imported and exported. You can find HS code amendments in the New Zealand Harmonised System Classification (NZHSC).

Are all 10-digit HS codes available in Infoshare?

All 10-digit HS codes are available for selection within Infoshare. However, some 10-digit HS codes have had values removed because they contain commercially sensitive data and could have detrimental effects on some companies that import or export commodities. We are able to provide a limited form of confidential status for commodities – companies or businesses need to complete an application for this status. The confidential status applies to all import or export data relating to the suppressed HS code and applies on a rolling basis to either the latest three, 12 or 24 months of data available for that HS code.

The higher level HS codes – two, four and six-digit, do not include the confidential values of the lower level 10-digit HS code. All confidential values are grouped into the 2-digit HS code ‘98’ to maintain the correct overall total of imports and exports.

Can I use commonly recognised country groupings such as EU and ASEAN?

Yes, these country groups are available for you to choose. However, you will not be able to create your own country groups.

Does Statistics New Zealand have data on Concession Codes?

No, we don’t release data for concession codes.  

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Values used – New Zealand dollars

Are the values in Infoshare shown in New Zealand dollars?

Yes, all values are shown in New Zealand dollars unless otherwise stated.

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