August 02, 2022
Māori oversight needed in Data Bill
The Council for Civil Liberties wants the Government to amend the Data and Statistics Bill to include more oversight of the Chief Statistician and more oversight by Māori.
The replacement for the Statistics Act 1975 allows Stats NZ to collect and access more data about New Zealanders from other government agencies.
Council chair Thomas Beagle says all decision-making goes back to the Chief Statistician, with no oversight on what they do or how they do it.
He says there is a vague nod in the bill towards consulting Maori on how data is used, but it falls far short of proper scrutiny.
“In a New Zealand context any oversight you would have and any kind of ethics committee would obviously have to have a strong Maori component, it just makes sense, and that’s not there as far as I can tell,” Mr Beagle says.
He says people would be surprised by the level of data already kept on them.