Resource type: 
Issue date: 
Tuesday, 27 June 2023

Collecting demographic data at the NZFC

High quality demographic data about the screen sector is vital for the NZFC to better understand the make-up and needs of the industry, and to help develop policies that will support a diverse and inclusive sector.

The NZFC currently asks funding applicants to provide demographic information as part of the application process.  This may include information about:

  • Gender identity
  • Ethnicity
  • Iwi
  • Age
  • Region
  • Screen experience
  • Disability identity
  • Rainbow identity

Demographic data collected by the NZFC is in line with Stats NZ statistical standards.

The Privacy Act 2020 has 13 Privacy Principles that govern how organisations and businesses can collect, store, use and share personal information. These principles, and how the NZFC is meeting them, are outlined below.

1. You can only collect personal information if it is for a lawful purpose and the information is necessary for that purpose. You should not require identifying information if it is not necessary for your purpose.

The NZFC collects applicant demographic data from all current and future funding programmes so that we are informed about who is receiving funding, to track trends and progress and to support targeted funding.

In the Minister’s Letter of Expectations, the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage sets out a specific expectation for the NZFC to grow diversity and inclusion in the sector. Collecting and analysing demographic data is crucial to achieving this.

Collecting demographic data informs the aspirations as set out in NZFC He Ara Whakaurunga Kanorau | Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (“D&I Strategy”) and is a key initiative to support “Outcome 2: We understand the makeup of our industry and see progress in diversity and inclusion.”

The D&I Strategy also refers to potentially establishing targeted NZFC funding programmes to support underrepresented communities. This kind of targeted funding is known as “affirmative action.”  Affirmative action measures can be established if there is data to demonstrate that certain groups are disadvantaged or underrepresented.

Robust data is needed to understand how best to support underrepresented groups. During consultation and development of the D&I Strategy, a number of communities in the screen sector were identified as underrepresented or experiencing discrimination. In 2021, NZFC expanded its data collection scope to collect Disability and Rainbow data. It is important to collect disability information to assess progress towards fulfilling the NZFC’s responsibilities under the New Zealand Disability Strategy. There is also an increasing awareness among policy makers both internationally and nationally that there is a need for Rainbow statistics when collating demographic data so we can better understand and respond to the needs of the community.

2. You should generally collect personal information directly from the person it is about. Because that won’t always be possible, you can collect it from other people in certain situations. For instance, if:

a. the person concerned gives you permission
b. collecting it in another way would not prejudice the person’s interests
c. collecting the information from the person directly would undermine the purpose of collection
d. you are getting it from a publicly available source

Generally, producers or another lead applicant will provide demographic data on behalf of the writer and director. This is based on the lead applicant consulting with and seeking permission from the key creatives to provide this information.

3. When you collect personal information, you must take reasonable steps to make sure that the person knows:

a. why it’s being collected
b. who will receive it
c. whether giving it is compulsory or voluntary
d. what will happen if they don’t give you the information

In the application form, a statement is provided outlining why the information is being collected.

Due to the sensitivity of demographic information, the NZFC will always provide the opportunity for applicants to not supply or withhold this information. All demographic data questions have the option ‘prefer not to answer’ and applicants are advised that submitting this information is voluntary. Applicants are advised that personal information will not be passed on or sold to third parties and reporting will always be anonymised and aggregated. Aggregated applicant data is managed by the NZFC Business Technology Services Team.

4. You may only collect personal information in ways that are lawful, fair and not unreasonably intrusive. Take particular care when collecting personal information from children and young people.
Demographic data information is not used as part of the assessment process or part of any eligibility criteria – with the exception of targeted funds (such as the Gender Scholarship), in these cases a robust process has been followed to ensure that the targeted funds are lawful.

5. You must make sure that there are reasonable security safeguards in place to prevent loss, misuse or disclosure of personal information. This includes limits on employee browsing of other people’s information.
All demographic data collected is stored on the NZFC system which is managed by the Business Technology Services Team. Other NZFC staff do not have access to this information and will only be provided this data if it is being used for a purpose for which it was collected. Robust procedures are in place to ensure there are no data breaches.  If a data breach were to occur, this would be investigated by the appropriate NZFC staff, and if necessary, reported to the Privacy Commissioner.

6. People have a right to ask you for access to, or a copy of, their personal information stored on file. In most cases you have to promptly give them their information. Sometimes you may have good reasons to refuse access. For example, if releasing the information could:

a. endanger someone’s safety
b. create a significant likelihood of serious harassment
c. prevent the detection or investigation of a crime
d. breach someone else’s privacy

Applicants have the right to request their personal information held on file by the NZFC.

7. A person has a right to ask an organisation or business to correct their information if they think it is wrong. Even if you don’t agree that it needs correcting, you must take reasonable steps to attach a statement of correction to the information to show the person’s view.

Applicants have the right to request the NZFC correct their personal information held on file by the NZFC.

8. Before using or disclosing personal information, you must take reasonable steps to check it is accurate, complete, relevant, up to date and not misleading.

When information is reported on or used, processes are in place to ensure that this data is accurate and complete, including peer review.

9. You must not keep personal information for longer than is necessary.

All personal information will be retained in line with the NZFC retention policy.

10. You can generally only use personal information for the purpose  you collected it. You may use it in ways that are directly related to the original purpose, or you may use it another way if the person gives you permission, or in other limited circumstances.

The NZFC does not use demographic data in ways other than its original purpose or intention.

11. You may only disclose personal information in limited circumstances. For example, if

a. disclosure is one of the purposes for which you got the information
b. the person concerned authorised the disclosure
c. the information will be used in an anonymous way
d. disclosure is necessary to avoid endangering someone’s health or safety
e. disclosure is necessary to avoid a prejudice to the maintenance of the law

The NZFC will not disclose any information unless it is requested by the person who specifically disclosed it. All information will be reported in an anonymised and aggregated way.

12. You can only send personal information to someone overseas if the information will be adequately protected. For example:

a. the receiving person is subject to the New Zealand Privacy Act because they do business in New Zealand
b. the information is going to a place with comparable privacy safeguards to New Zealand
c. the receiving person has agreed to adequately protect the information – through model contract clauses, etc.

The NZFC follows these principles. See the NZFC Privacy Policy.

13. A unique identifier is a number or code that identifies a person in your dealings with them, such as an IRD or driver’s licence number. You can only assign your own unique identifier to individuals where it is necessary for operational functions. Generally, you may not assign the same identifier as used by another organisation. If you assign a unique identifier to people, you must make sure that the risk of misuse (such as identity theft) is minimised.
This is not applicable to the NZFC, as the organisation does not assign unique identifiers.

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Last updated: 
27 Jun 2023
Last updated: 
Tuesday, 27 June 2023