1975 – still da bomb!
The Corolla ruled, mix tapes were a ‘thing’ and our Stats Act became law.

How things change! Actually, the Stats Act hasn’t… well not really. The Act doesn’t even feature the word ‘data’. Far-out!

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Public Consultation on new data and statistics legislation

Let’s just say “Stay Beautiful 1975”. The rest of us need to move on. We need data and statistics legislation for a modern world. What do you think?

For more than 40 years, the Statistics Act 1975 has governed the operation of New Zealand’s official statistics system and supported data use for research and analysis.

The Act has helped ensure that high quality statistics are produced across government, independently of political and external interference, so that New Zealanders can have trust and confidence in the statistics and use them to inform decisions.

Why do we need new data and statistics legislation?

The Act has also enabled New Zealand to lead the world in using integrated data to support decision making through research and analysis. The Act has helped keep data safe.

But the Statistics Act is out of date. It was designed in the 1970s when data moved around, and statistics were mostly produced, on paper. The technology we use today would have seemed like science fiction. The data environment, information needs and the opportunities to use data and statistics have changed significantly. And will keep changing.

Although the birth and growth of the cassette began in the 1960s, its cultural moment took place during the 1970s and 1980s.

The Statistics Act 1975 …

…complicates and restricts the ability to acquire, integrate and share data in a modern data environment.

…does not provide sufficient foundation to ensure a coherent and co-ordinated approach to the production of statistics.

…does not provide sufficient tools for Stats NZ to influence the quality of data that informs the production of official statistics.

…is not appropriately transparent about the use of data for research and analysis.

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New Zealanders roller-skated since the mid-1860s. In the 1970s, when polyurethane wheels were created, disco music roller rinks were all the rage.

In 1975, the Toyota Corolla was the biggest selling car in the world.

New data and statistics legislation is needed to:

  • recognise the Treaty relationship between Māori and the Crown, and Māori interests in using data for decision-making and advancing economic, social and cultural wellbeing
  • treat data as a valuable strategic asset
  • provide a transparent legislative framework for official statistics and for research and analysis.
  • be flexible to keep pace with change.
  • reflect a modern and future-focused data environment
  • provide the right safeguards and protections for New Zealand’s data
  • shape how Stats NZ, NZ’s data agency, works in the future by keeping pace with new technology, the increasing capabilities of data users, and new data sources

Public discussion

A public discussion is needed so New Zealanders can identify and comment on what’s important. We want you to tell us what you think about new data and statistics legislation.

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This is what modern technology looked like when the Stats Act was written.

So just what has changed since the Statistics Act was written?
Here’s our then and now statistical snap shot.

Half a dozen regular eggs would set you back 80c and an average 3 bedroom house $24,300. But the average weekly pay packet would have $95 in it.

Free range eggs are now about $5 a half dozen and the 2018 average house price is $670k (blink and it might change). Your pay packet? The average has about $950 in it each week.

Life was simple – we only had three musical choices – radio, vinyl record or tape. Digital music was under development, but analogue was king.

Can’t keep up with live streaming, down loading, pod casting, online or offline?

The wireless is still with us and there’s a resurgence of vinyl... RIP analogue? Not quite yet.

Its creators couldn’t have foreseen the huge changes in data use and management, or the technology that still drives change today.

While the legislation still serves its purpose, it needs replacing. We need legislation for a modern world. What do you think?

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Make a submission

In 1975 our Statistics Act became law.

Read the discussion document

Motorola created the first mobile phone in 1973. It weighed a whopping 1.1kg! Just as well talk-time was only 30 minutes before it needed a 10 hour re-charge.

©2018 Stats NZ, This is a public engagement campaign owned by Stats NZ, for any feedback please contact us.

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Making a submission is easy, you can do it directly online here…

Or download the template to do it offline, and then scan it and email it, or send it via post.