Overview of Principles

These Principles articulate values and behaviours to help ensure that data practices are focused on the wellbeing of people and communities.

The five Principles articulate the values and behaviours that underpin the respectful and transparent use of data across the social sector.

The Principles guide the ways in which agencies working in the social sector should actively seek and include the views, choices and contributions of service users in their actions around data and information. Alignment with the Principles will enable agencies to design data and information practices that: empower service users; steward people’s information and stories; and create insights that lead to wellbeing.

The five Principles work together and reinforce each other. When agencies consistently apply the Principles, the result is that:

  • social sector agencies will share a common approach in how they work with people and their information
  • agencies will work inclusively to develop and share valuable insights that result in the wellbeing of people and communities
  • people who use social services will know what to expect and will have confidence in how agencies will use their personal information.

The five Principles summarised

He tāngata

Focus on improving people's lives — individuals, children and young people, whānau, iwi, and communities.

The He Tāngata principle has a special role. It wraps around the Policy as a whole. It reminds us that everything we do with data should be with the following question in mind: “how does this contribute toward the wellbeing of the individual, or community?”.


Respect and uphold the mana and dignity of the people, whānau, communities or groups who share their data and information.

Mana whakahaere

Empower people by giving them choice and enabling their access to, and use of, their data and information.


Act as a steward in a way that is understood and trusted by New Zealanders.


Work as equals to create and share valuable knowledge.