This transparency statement explains how we collect, use, and share information gathered for statistical purposes.
The information we collect benefits everyone. It enables decision-making and essential research by New Zealanders, businesses, and government that affect everyone in New Zealand. This includes, for example, decisions on funding for schools, health care, roading, and government policies, through to investment in industries, bank interest rates, and the New Zealand dollar exchange rate.
We rely on people’s trust and goodwill to supply us with quality information. To maintain this trust, we are committed to being transparent about how we operate and how we protect the privacy and confidentiality of those who provide their information.
Who we collect information from
Much of the information we collect to produce official statistics and inform research comes directly from individuals, households, and businesses, and contains personal and commercially sensitive information. In the process of gathering this information, Stats NZ regularly engages with the public.
How we collect it
We have a nationwide team and contact centre that visits and calls individuals, households, and businesses to gather information. We do not use external organisations to gather any information. Our staff are trained to be respectful, to clearly identify themselves, and to not intrude unreasonably on the personal affairs of the people we interview. Calls in and out of the contact centre are recorded for quality assurance purposes and to help resolve complaints. These recordings are not a means of collecting survey data. Similarly, for face-to-face interviews, selected questions may be audio recorded but only with consent and for quality assurance.
We also use administrative data to supplement the data collected through our surveys. Administrative data is data that other organisations, including other government agencies, create and use during their day-to-day operations. By using this data we can minimise the number of surveys needed to produce official statistics and provide data for other research purposes. Reducing the survey burden for New Zealanders and New Zealand businesses is a key reason we source and hold administrative data. We have done this for many years.
How we protect data
We apply statistical and security best practice standards and work closely with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to ensure privacy principles are followed. Our dedicated security team monitors and evaluates internal and external security issues and risks. Everyone we employ and all researchers who use our data, sign and abide by a ‘statutory declaration of secrecy’. This declaration is a lifetime obligation. Access to the data we hold is managed carefully in a controlled and secure environment. We check all research and statistics produced to make sure confidentiality is maintained. We provide people and organisations with access to information we hold about them when requested, if we can readily access it.
Complaints and feedback
We have an established process for individuals or organisations to register a complaint or concern about their experience with us.
Contact us to make an enquiry, request data or help with a survey, or lodge a complaint.