Social License Survey

Stats NZ collects, stores, manages and uses the public’s data on behalf of the government. These activities are collectively referred to as data stewardship at Stats NZ. It is important for Stats NZ to understand New Zealander’s perceptions of and levels of trust in our activities as data stewards. Research suggests that Stats NZ currently has good levels of trust amongst New Zealanders. However, trust alone is unlikely to be enough to ensure we have ‘permission’ to steward New Zealander’s personal information ongoing. Social licence is a concept that relates to the activities that an organisation undertakes, and applies to different organisations in different ways depending on their activities. It can be described as an unwritten acceptance by the public for an organisation to perform activities that wouldn’t be acceptable if performed by others. We are interested in our social licence for data stewardship, or put another way, societal acceptance of Stats NZ as stewards of New Zealand’s data. We will assume that a social licence exists if, through active engagement, New Zealanders’ trust that the value we provide to society outweighs any personal cost. Social licence measure Stats NZ would like to measure our social licence for data stewardship for our annual reporting process for the next three years. Social licence cannot be measured directly, but the different components (below) that make up social licence can be. The following is our suggested framework to define the social licence given to us by the public to steward their data. If all components of the framework can be addressed, then we can assume that we have a social licence.

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