Information Law & Policy Project

“Adapting New Zealand Law for the Information Age”


This page is retained for information purposes only.

A new, independent $2 million research fund is now available for projects that will better prepare New Zealand for the challenges of the information age.

The New Zealand Law Foundation’s Information Law and Policy Project [ILAPP] will develop law and policy around IT, data, information, artificial intelligence and cyber-security. The project will bring together teams of experts to examine challenges and opportunities in areas like global information, cyber-security, data exploitation, and technology-driven social change.

The project is intended to support the growth, understanding and resilience of New Zealand and prepare the country for future digital competence. It will support and feed into work the public and private sector is undertaking, but will remain independent.

The project was formally launched by Minister Amy Adams, Minister of Justice and Minister for Communications, on Tuesday 23 August 2016 and will close in July 2019.

ILAPP will identify existing legal barriers, emerging legal barriers, and incentives that could be created by the law (i.e. how Law can make better things happen).

By taking this broad approach we hope to explore how Law is helping or constraining our digital capability by looking at:

  • The state of existing law and regulatory/governance models.
  • IT/Data/Information norms, values and ethics for New Zealand and how the Law has/should influence their evolution.
  • Building expertise in the legal profession in understanding ‘tech’ generally and its utility/risks and opportunities.
  • Establishing an environment that will help New Zealand be adaptable to future change.
  • Establishing an environment of high trust/high confidence for private interactions, government interactions and economic interactions, both domestically and internationally.
  • Positioning New Zealand as a leader in the development of IT-based products and services and in the management and regulation of data and information.

Discrete areas such as the future of legal services, commercial transactions, education, health, issues for Maori, and so on could be considered in particular fields of enquiry. This project is about exploring, stretching and inspiring research into future-focussed areas.

Seven broad themes of enquiry have been identified and research projects will align with these:

  • The global nature of information – how we manage it and trade in it.
  • Cyber security and crime – what capabilities are needed to protect against this?
  • Social change following technological change – how is technology affecting society and how can the law keep up?
  • Ownership/exploitation of data – how can citizens control use of their data?
  • Philosophical notions – looking at the impact of technology on the State and what that means for democracy and other constitutional issues.
  • The ethics of inference – algorithmic decision making and its implications for society.
  • The exclusionary effect of technology – catering for citizens and business lacking the ability to access and unlock the benefits of technology.

Click here to download the project overview document and full details of the research themes.

For further information about the project, please contact Project Manager, Richman Wee:

Phone: +64-4-595 1123
Mobile: +64-21-623 622
Content for the ILAPP web pages will continue to be added throughout the life of the project.


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