NZTA data like pulling teeth

I made a request for data from NZTA for some data related to vehicles – no private data . (My Senior DT class is following this chain of correspondence.)

NZTA responce

After reviewing your request, it has been determined to be too broad for us to consider and therefore is required to be refined. Can you please explain exactly what information you require from the Motor Vehicle Register and what date range is necessary? It is also important to note that the registered person information and some vehicle information is restricted under the Land Transport Act 1998 and Privacy Act 1993.

Please note that if the request is not sufficiently refined we may have to consider other options under the Official information Act, such as charging a fee due to the substantial collation this request may require.Part 2, Section 15 of the Official Information Act allows for a fixed charge that is reasonable and is in regard to the cost of the labour and materials involved in making the information available. The cost is $38.00 for the first chargeable half hour or part thereof; and then $38.00 for each additional half hour or part thereof.

Fair enough… I specified

100,000 records
The more recent the better ie last 12 months but actually not essential
I need to have at least 10 fields, preferably 20 including registration, expiry date, colour, model etc…
I need it in one of the following formats: CSV or xlsx or even SQL export
I need a explanation of the data fields (from a data dictionary or equivalent)

They declined, their reply…

Capture My reply…

Thanks for your reply.

Interesting… This does not seem consistent with government policy re open data.

I will ask for a review, if nothing else showing students this process will create a learning experience. (for students)

My next action… I have lodged a complaint

I am writing to complain that the NZ Transport Agency has declined my request for a data set of registered vehicles. The data requested does not include personal information and would be used for educational purposes. I think their response ignores their obligations under the official information act and is inconsistent with government policy which is about making data sets increasingly available (

My class is looking forward to seeing what happens.

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