Te Mana Raraunga
Māori Data Sovereignty Network

News & Updates

Ngā Panui


New Global INdigenous Data Alliance launched

The Global Indigenous Data Alliance was launched today on the 12th Anniversary of the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the UN General Assembly. You can find information about the Indigenous Data Sovereignty Communique, formation of GIDA, the Global Indigenous Data Alliance, and the launch of the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance, on their website www.gida-global.org. In support of Māori language week the press release and Communique have been translated into Te Reo Māori.

Te Mana Raraunga Statement on Independent Review of New Zealand’s 2018 Census:
Treaty-based data governance and partnership crucial

Te Mana Raraunga, the Māori Data Sovereignty Network, welcomes the findings of the Independent Review of New Zealand’s 2018 Census. Te Mana Raraunga forewarned about a poorly executed census in July last year, and has consistently raised questions about Census 2018 and the implications for Māori in a series of public statements. The Review provides a long-awaited explanation for what went wrong and why. This included a lack of strategic direction and effective programme management at the Census management level, an insufficient field workforce, and ineffective strategies to increase participation, particularly for Māori. Read the full statement here.

Appalling Census collection response rates for Māori

Te Mana Raraunga, the Māori Data Sovereignty Network, is appalled that Stats NZ only managed to collect individual census forms for 68% of the Māori population in the 2018 Census. The ‘traditional‘ Māori collection response rate, based on individual form returns, was 68.2%. This was far lower than the rate of 85.5% for the 2013 census. Te Mana Raraunga raised the warning bell about a poorly executed census in July last year warning that the national Māori response rate could be around 80 percent, and lower in areas such as Northland and the East Coast. The Stats NZ report finally confirms that TMR’s concerns were well founded. Te Mana Raraunga’s press release can be found here.

Te Mana Raraunga Statement on 2018 New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings

‘The limitations of the Census 2018 Māori data are an unacceptable brake on efforts to advance Māori social, cultural and economic wellbeing that cannot be allowed to happen again’ says Te Mana Raraunga – the Māori Data Sovereignty Network. ‘As we predicted, it appears that the Census has not delivered equitably for Māori’. Te Mana Raraunga released this press release in response to Statistics NZ announcement today about the state of the 2018 New Zealand Census of Populations and Dwellings.

Submission on the Law Commission Review of the law governing the use of DNA in criminal investigations

Te Mana Raraunga’s submission on the Law Commissions review of the the law governing the use of DNA in criminal investigations in New Zealand can be found here. The submission was authored by Donna Cormack and describes the principles of Maori Data Sovereignty and their application to the use of samples/DNA in criminal investigations, as well as comments on the specific questions in the review discussion document.

Te Ao Maori Data Hui

On Wednesday 19th December a hui facilitated by the Data Iwi Leaders Group was held in Rotorua. The primary purpose was to bring together Maori data stakeholders for a ‘strategic data’ conversation on engagement with the Crown, in relation to ‘Māori Data’ and consider what participation in the 'co-design’ process with the Crown for Maori Data Governance across the government data system should look like.

Delay in the release of census data 2018

Statistics NZ has released a statement outlining their revised timeline for the release of data from the Census 2018 without giving a clear indication of what data will be available and when. While Te Mana Raraunga supports moves by Stats NZ to appoint an external data quality panel and to have an independent review of Census 2018, we remain concerned that Census 2018 may yet fail to deliver high quality Māori and iwi data. The TMR press release can be found here.

Maori Data Sovereignty principles released

Te Mana Raraunga has developed this short briefing paper to give some general definitions for Maori data, Maori data sovereignty, Maori data governance, as well as describe the principles of Maori data sovereignty. You can access the briefing paper here.

Update from Stats NZ

Statistics NZ has just released an update on a number of key projects and activities including Maori data governance. You can access the update here and it has links through to information about the various projects.

Maori Data Futures report

The Maori Data Futures Hui was held at Te Herenga Waka Marae on 9 May 2018. A report on the hui, describing the discussions from the day, can now be found here. The hui report describes seven areas of development for Māori Data, identified and discussed by attendees.  It also shows the domain areas discussed for Māori Data, and how they relate to each other. That image can be downloaded separately, here.

Data Summit 18

Stats NZ is hosting a 2-day summit on informed decision-making through the ethical use of data in Wellington on September 27-28th. The summit will discuss balancing the tensions between data innovation and protecting privacy – ensuring New Zealanders have trust and confidence in the way their data is used. It will cover data sovereignty from an international and New Zealand perspective as well as an in-depth look at privacy, ethics and algorithms.  Professor Tahu Kukutai will talk about Māori data sovereignty and the opportunities and challenges of big data and integrated data in Aotearoa. For more information and tickets click here.

Te Mana Raraunga Statement on 2018 New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings: 

A Call for Action on Māori Census Data

Te Mana Raraunga, the Māori Data Sovereignty Network, is concerned that Census 2018 may fail to deliver high quality Māori and iwi data. Interim figures for the 2018 Census released by Stats NZ indicate that full or partial information has only been received for around 90 percent of individuals. For Māori, the extent of the problem will inevitably be worse. We may well be looking at a total Māori response rate of less than 80 percent, and even lower in areas that have historically had lower coverage, such as Northland and the East Coast. Census 2018 may yet turn out to be the poorest quality enumeration of Māori in recent history. Te Mana Raraunga has put together a press release (included here in te reo Māori) and a more detailed technical statement on Census 2018.

Correspondence responding to the Census Statement






australian Indigenous Data Sovereignty communique

The Maiam nayri Wingara Indigneous Data Sovereignty Collective and the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute held an Indigenous Data Sovereignty Summit in Canberra on 20th June 2018. An outcome of that summit was the development of a communique which outlines the delegates view on Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Indigenous Data Governance.  Enacting Indigenous Data Governance requires Indigenous leaders, practitioners and community members with the skills and infrastructure to advocate and participate across all sectors and jurisdictions. Indigenous communities retain the right to decide which sets of data require active governance and maintain the right to not participate in data processes inconsistent with the principles asserted in this Communique.

Powering health equity action  with on-line Data tools

Policylink has just released a report on powering health equity action with on-line data tools. Achieving health equity—when everyone has a just and fair opportunity to be as healthy as possible regardless of race, income, or other socially defined characteristics—is essential to building resilient communities, a prosperous economy, and a just society. This report outlines 10 design principles including honoring Indigenous Data Sovereignty. 

Indigenous Data Sovereignty 'What Works Workshop'

Te Mana Raraunga ran a 'What Works Workshop' on Indigenous Data Sovereignty at the Waikato Tainui College of Research and Development on September 5th and 6th.  The event will have a range of national and international speakers talking about how they operationalise Indigenous Data Sovereignty in their activities.

Maori engagement report on National Research and information system

The Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment has released a report on preliminary Māori engagement in relation to the conceptual model for the National Research and Information System (NRIS).


NEW Guidelines for Trusted data Use

NZ Data Futures Partnership has just released Guidelines for Trusted Data Use. They have been developed through consultation with communities around Social License for Data Use. Further guidance will also be developed about trusted use of iwi/Māori data.

Cultural license recognised in MPI Primary sector science roadmap

The Ministry  for Primary Industries has just released a Primary Sector Science Roadmap which includes references to social license and cultural license. Cultural license is defined as the ability of an organisation or industry to undertake business in a culturally acceptable way with confidence from Māori Treaty partners and iwi.

Statement on Social License and Cultural License

Te Mana Raraunga has released a statement on the the difference between individual and collectives rights in the context of data sharing, data linkage and data aggregation, suggesting that Cultural License is a complementary process to the development of a Social License for Data Use.

Authoritative reference on the potential of big data

  • It's hard to argue with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) when it comes to an authoritative reference on the potential of big data to increasingly impact on inequality for minority populations

  • Read the NIH article here »

2018 World Congress of Sociology in Toronto (15-21 July 2017)

Statistics NZ partners with Statistics Netherlands

  • Statistics New Zealand announces a unique partnership with Statistics Netherlands (CBS) to unleash the potential of new data sources and analytics for decision-making.

  • The new international collaboration aims to leverage and build on the strengths and networks of the two organisations who are both leaders in their field.

  • Read more from Statistics NZ about the partnership »

Te Mana Raraunga Updates