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7 October 2014

Hon Craig Foss

Minister of Statistics
Parliament Buildings

Dear Minister
Briefing for the Incoming Minister of Statistics
Congratulations on your appointment as Minister of Statistics. I look forward to working with
you over the coming Parliamentary term.
Please find enclosed the Briefing for the Incoming Minister of Statistics (BIM). You come to the
role at a fascinating time in the departments history. Statistics New Zealand and the wider
government information sector are currently considering how they harness the power of the
ever increasing amount of data available to Government and society as whole. Statistics NZ,
along with other agencies, is contemplating what its role will look like in the future what I
describe as the challenge of being an information agency in an information age. I draw you
attention to the section entitled Data as a Strategic Government Asset and the role of Statistics
New Zealand (page 8), and the related A3, in the BIM. Also note the section Better use of data
in the Public Services Briefing to the Incoming Government October 2014 appended to the
BIM, which outlines my role in leading advice to Government on in the recommendations of
the New Zealand Data Futures Forum.
As Statistics NZ considers its future strategic direction, we continue to enhance the efficient
supply of relevant, trustworthy, timely and reliable official statistics to monitor New Zealands
performance, guide the allocation of billions of dollars of government funding and support a
wide range of decision making.
I also draw you attention to the section Issues for early consideration (page 5).
There are no issues that require your immediate attention. However there are a number of
areas of work that will need your consideration over the next two months. These include the
proposed Government response to the NZ Data Futures Forum, the Statistics NZ Performance
Improvement Framework Review 2014, and the Environmental Reporting Bill.
Congratulations once again. I look forward to meeting with you soon.
Yours sincerely

Liz MacPherson
Government Statistician and Chief Executive