Wed 13 May 2015 1:51AM

What data should we ask local councils for?

SM Shaun McGirr Public Seen by 183

Local councils are also another important data source. GovHack Wellington team is working directly with WCC to make their data available, but what else do people want?


Aaron Schiff Wed 13 May 2015 7:48PM

Rating valuation data by property


Jo Booth Wed 13 May 2015 10:56PM

The local and regional council relatime public transport feeds and traffic data

ref: https://twitter.com/metlinkwgtn/status/583466565313495040


P Hughes Fri 15 May 2015 2:47AM

Non-private Rating Valuation data, preferably aggregated nationally. there are huge benefits to be gained nationally and they need to be unlocked urgently. It is all public data.


David Laing Fri 15 May 2015 2:51AM

How about air quality data? I think that this is collected by the regional councils. Is it aggregated by another agency nationally?


Shaun McGirr Fri 15 May 2015 5:15AM

Awesome, keep 'em coming!


Shaun McGirr Fri 15 May 2015 5:28AM

Thanks Peter. Am I correct in thinking that currently QV are the only ones aggregating the property data nationally?


David Laing Fri 15 May 2015 9:20AM

There is an issue with QV - they appear to be intending to turn the data into a saleable asset, although it is, as Joe says, public data.


Jo Booth Fri 15 May 2015 1:49PM

From David Preece: @davidpreece on NZQA
“Presumably the roads are regularly surveyed to establish which bits need to be fixed. Can we get data for which pieces of which roads are good/bad/terrible?”

Should get data on this from local & regional councils too


Nadia Webster Sun 17 May 2015 11:46PM

To see what data others have requested from government and the responses given see: https://data.govt.nz/requests

Property and rating valuation data has been sought for a long time: https://data.govt.nz/datasetrequest/show/3


Nadia Webster Sun 17 May 2015 11:48PM

There is a lot of local council data here: http://www.localcouncils.govt.nz/


Shaun McGirr Mon 18 May 2015 7:14PM

Thanks for those links Nadia. Are you suggesting that "all decisions are final" on data.govt.nz and we shouldn't bother relitigating them, even with a stronger case?


Nadia Webster Mon 18 May 2015 9:15PM

@shaunmcgirr1 the intent is to add to the case for releasing data and to also see what data other people are interested in.
It's important for government agencies to get a better understanding of what data is in demand because the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government directs Public Service Departments to release high value public data for reuse. Public demand is an indicator of 'high value'.


Jo Booth Mon 18 May 2015 9:28PM

I'm hoping a few #GovHackNZ projects can tap into unreleased data sources and bridge that gap - many agency likely haven't released data because they can't figure out how - rather than they don't want to.


Sean Audain Tue 19 May 2015 1:52AM

Good Afternoon.

I am preparing a bunch of blog posts on the different WCC datasets already available online, how to access and use them at a basic level and some of the tips and tricks for getting the gold out of them. Like many aspects of Government it is a case of some areas are more developed than others:

At present I am themeing them around
- Demographic Information - the type of information we use to project the cities growth and plan for the population. The central piece of this will be around this platform - http://profile.idnz.co.nz/wellington
- Building information - the type of information we hold and have available on the cities buildings their age, use, type, location etc. This will include a non confidential rating cadastral release (once I find a place to put it - know of anywhere?)
-Infrastructure - information on road coverage, tracks, parks and all that stuff that keeps your city going from when you turn on a tap in the morning to walk home by streetlight at night. This will be a bigger topic I can hopefully expand on a bit later

-GIS- the geographic information we hold on the city and our data hub you can access it at http://data.wcc.opendata.arcgis.com/

I was going to do some more stuff around natural environment, transport use etc later when I have more time.


Shaun McGirr Tue 19 May 2015 3:05AM

That's fantastic Sean, thank you! What you are doing will be really helpful to show other councils the way. Please let us know when you publish those blogs so we can promote them. I'll contact you separately about a landing place for your cadastral data.


Sean Audain Tue 19 May 2015 3:15AM

Will sort the blog place tomorrow at the meeting. Keep the suggestions coming for data and I will let you know which ones we can help with and why we cant do the others.


Nick Williamson Fri 22 May 2015 1:37AM

I only discovered earlier this year that the Regional Council's have pulled together a shared data platform here:



Shaun McGirr Sat 23 May 2015 12:24AM

Outstanding! Will add it to my list of lists...


Kay Fri 29 May 2015 10:20AM

A free searchable database of resource consent applications (and approvals) sorted by street would be helpful for neighbours and residents' associations. Currently WCC releases pdfs of resource consents issued over a specific time period but this is only helpful if you know the right time period to search.


Shaun McGirr Tue 2 Jun 2015 8:08AM

Thanks Kay, I've asked Sean at WCC if they could provide even a sliver of this data as a preview.


Jonathan Hunt Wed 10 Jun 2015 6:13AM

@Nick As far as I can tell LAWA is useless for downstream development like GovHack or similar. The site defaults to ©Copyright LAWA which is All Rights Reserved. The terms as http://www.lawa.org.nz/terms/ specify Personal & Non-commercial use so reuse via mashup or app isn't allowed by default.


Nick Williamson Wed 10 Jun 2015 8:42AM

Well that sucks.

Nick WilliamsonSystems Thinker & Innovatorwww.mashmatix.com ( http://www.mashmatix.com/ )


Jo Booth Thu 11 Jun 2015 3:49AM

I image we can ask the LAWA for a clarification on license terms for GovHack use? @shaunmcgirr1 ?

\cc @jonathanhunt @nickwilliamson


Jonathan Hunt Thu 11 Jun 2015 6:49AM

@jobooth It would be good to ask them to simply license it per NZGOAL, preferably something permissive like CC-BY.


Shaun McGirr Thu 11 Jun 2015 7:22PM

Very constructive suggestions, I've sent them this. Feel free to reuse any of the language!

Hi there,

I'm the Wellington "data wrangler" for an event coming up in July called "GovHack", in which teams of people build innovative solutions to common problems with open government data. The outcome could be a website, an app, or a visualisation.

Your website is a fantastic resource, especially as it pools together data from multiple councils, allowing any team using LAWA to get to the "solution" part faster and spend less time wrangling data.

Unfortunately, your terms and conditions are pretty scary! While the limited "personal, non-commercial" grant of use sounds nice, it isn't really a license that would freely allow mashup and reuse of the type we promote through GovHack. That means we can't recommend LAWA to participants, which is a shame.

Central government is now typically licensing its data through the NZGOAL framework, which provides options that might work for you. Note that none of these remove or affect your copyright on any data, they simply clarify the terms of reuse.

If you're interested in opening up the data so people can take full advantage of your work collecting it, please let me know how GovHack can help.

Shaun McGirr


Kay Fri 12 Jun 2015 12:25AM

Great messaging Shaun, Paul, and team on data (re)use. :-)

Also a useful prompt for staff in public sector funded organisations planning information releases who may need a prompt on the NZGOAL framework. Thinking about re-use early in the process can be helpful.


Kay Jones


Jo Booth Wed 1 Jul 2015 9:18AM

Something that'd I'd love to see (or create for) councils is APIs into their 'fix my street' or equivalent data.

Last minute, the awesome team at Hexagon Geospatial have gifted a top tier subscription to their Mobile Alert crowd sourcing service - so attendees at all GovHack locations in Australia and New Zealand will see a specific GovHack 'wheel' in the app. I'll be providing the feed from that to anyone who asks - with the hope someone will mash it up into their local council, sports field, community project or anyone who likes being told whats afoot in their neighbourhood.

See how it works - Mobile Alert demo video and if you want some datas - pop to my Playing Smarter post on pulse and click the Request Resources link