Skip to main content

Mana raraunga data sovereignty. What is it and why does it matter in Aotearoa New Zealand?

Royal Society of New Zealand
Royal Society of New Zealand
Publication date:  

Extract from the Introduction

Data, data everywhere. The rapid growth of digital technologies has created a global explosion in the generation of data. In this increasingly digitised world, more data than ever is being collected, stored, linked, and shared. But who defines data? Who owns it? Who has access? And who benefits? The concepts of data sovereignty, Indigenous data sovereignty, and Māori data sovereignty were developed to help answer such complex and urgent questions.

For Indigenous Peoples, data sovereignty is integral to a wider discussion about autonomy and selfdetermination. Indigenous data sovereignty recognises that Indigenous Peoples have inherent rights to their own data.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, te Tiriti o Waitangi guarantees Māori rights to data that relates to Māori. Māori data sovereignty is increasingly influencing how data about Māori is governed. The aim of this report is to increase public understanding of data sovereignty, Indigenous data sovereignty, and Māori data sovereignty. Through better understanding, there can be more conversations and improved decisions about the way data is defined, collected, stored, used, and protected for the benefit of Aotearoa New Zealand communities. ...

Royal Society of New Zealand, December 2023