The Data Lab provides secure computer facilities in Statistics New Zealand's offices where researchers can work with anonymised microdata. Statistics NZ is legally required to protect confidential individual and corporate information. A rigorous application process and strict eligibility criteria apply based on the requirements of the Statistics Act 1975. Researchers can apply to access microdata for bona fide research or statistical purposes that are in the public interest.
Current research projects include:
- Housing affordability in New Zealand
- Firm and household behaviour
- Cancer trends
- The effect of immigration on the New Zealand labour market
- Understanding adjustment and inequality
- Measuring homelessness
Location and access hours
The Data Labs are open Monday - Friday from 8.30am - 5pm and are located at the following venues:
The Boulevard, Harbour Quays
Level 6-7, SAP Centre
67 Symonds Street
401 Madras Street
Researchers are provided with:
- a work space with a computer, use of a printer and access to a telephone
- software supplied by Statistics NZ (Microsoft Office, SAS EG, Stata and other software by negotiation)
- use of the staff break-out area
- a dedicated meeting room (Wellington only).
Use of the Data Lab is carefully monitored to ensure that data is not misused and respondents' confidentiality is protected. All material taken into the Data Lab must be declared. Only outputs that have been confidentialised can be released from the Data Lab. All outputs are checked before release.
All access to microdata follows Statistics NZ's microdata access protocols and is at the discretion of the Government Statistician. A researcher's application will only be approved if the Government Statistician is satisfied that:
- the data is needed to complete genuine research or statistical purposes
- the person has the necessary research, knowledge, and skills to carry out the work
- the person has made a statutory declaration that the information will be used only for the purposes of that research or statistical project.
Researchers using the Data Labs need to be experienced in statistical research and in the use of analytical tools, including statistical software. Statistics NZ does not provide training.
If the research is to be undertaken by a government department it must be conducted separately from any regulatory function of the department.
Applying for access
A rigorous application process applies to requests to access microdata in the Data Lab.
- Contact Statistics NZ to discuss your proposed research.
- Complete the Data Lab Application (Word, 169kb).
- Statistics NZ will assess the application within 15 business days. It is desirable if you can be available during this period to provide further clarification, if needed.
- If the application is approved, a contract is negotiated covering the detailed conditions of access and the data is prepared for use in the Data Lab.
- Researchers are required to attend an induction session and familiarise themselves with the contents of the Data Lab output guide (PDF, 2.87mb).
- The researcher may then start work in the Data Lab.
The Data Lab operates on a cost-recovery basis. Typical total costs for a Data Lab project are between $5,000 and $15,000. Unsuccessful applications to use the Data Lab do not incur any charge.
|Advice to applicant
|Assessment and approval (no charge for unsuccessful applications)
||no. of hours @ $115/hr
|Dataset confidentiality check
||no. of hrs @ $115/hr
|Purchase/licence for custom software
|Data Lab user setup
||$145 per user
|Data Lab usage per day
Please note the prices above exclude GST.