Refreshed Terms of Reference

March 2023

1. Vision

The agreed Vision for the Tourism Data Leadership Group (TDLG) is: Facilitate the provision of consistent, reliable and trusted tourism data and insights that enables improved understanding through timely reporting to support better decision making, long-term value gains and sustainability for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

2. Purpose

  1. The central purpose of the TDLG is to provide a collaborative forum that recognises the information needs of Aotearoa's diverse set of tourism data users and identifies possible enhancements and improvements that will enable a world class tourism data system. Tourism data users include industry, central and local government, communities, iwi, interest groups, researchers and academics.
  2. The TDLG is an independent body of individuals appointed for their knowledge and expertise, supported by the Tourism Evidence & Insights team at Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
  3. The TDLG will make recommendations to the Minister of Tourism for improvements to the tourism data system. MBIE will advise the Minister of Tourism on the recommendations.
  4. A Terms of Reference to support the establishment phase of the TDLG was put in place in May 2022, with the intention to review the terms in the first 12 months. This revised Terms of Reference replaces the previous document in its entirety.
  5. This Terms of Reference applies to the second year and beyond of the TDLG, superseding the original TOR set up for the establishment stage.
  6. The broader purpose of the TDLG is to:
    • Provide advice on the current and future collection, dissemination and understanding of tourism-related data and insights, based on an agreed strategy by and for the diverse set of tourism data users.
    • Recommend the collection of tourism data and correlated insights for the benefit of the tourism sector and policy development.
    • Recommend what the priority needs are for future investment in tourism data and the infrastructure and processes required for its management.
    • Identify the allocation of financial, in-kind and data contributions to priority tourism projects and work streams.
    • Adhere to the principles of the Te Tiriti o Waitangi in its work and its interaction with stakeholders and MBIE.

3. Objectives

The TDLG will achieve the purpose by the following objectives:

  1. Maintain an open, collaborative and respectful forum to raise, discuss and advance tourism data improvements.
  2. Being cognisant of existing tourism strategies and frameworks, including the New Zealand Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy, Tourism Data Domain Plan, Tourism 2025 & Beyond and regional Destination Management Plans.
  3. Provide thought leadership and advice concerning the strategic direction of data developments. This includes initiatives such as a tourism data roadmap and new data and insights opportunities for tourism that fit within the available funding.
  4. Foster improved access to existing publicly available tourism data sources.
  5. Uplift the sector’s capability and understanding of tourism data and insights.

4. Out of scope

  1. The TDLG is an independent advisory board, and it does not have legally binding decision-making powers.
  2. The TDLG will not prescribe research agendas for individual agencies and organisations. Members of the TDLG will be able to continue pursuing their own research agendas separate from the TDLG’s agenda.

5. Structure and Meetings


  1. The TDLG will:
    • Convene at least 5 times per year in person or online. Timings for meetings will be determined by the Co-Chairs, and additional meetings can be arranged upon agreement by TDLG members.
    • Commit to additional online meetings, as required by the TDLG.
    • Engage collaboratively with existing national leadership groups for the tourism sector.
    • Maintain active engagement with the wider tourism data system and other identified key stakeholders.

  2. The TDLG meetings will be conducted on a confidential basis to promote full and open discussion. The minutes of the meetings will not attribute comments to individuals, but reporting will be generally described.
  3. The TDLG minutes will not be published by MBIE. However, the Official Information Act applies to all information held or produced by the TDLG.
  4. An update on the Tourism Evidence & Insights work programme and finance should be a standing item at TDLG meetings.


  1. The TDLG can invite experts to attend meetings to assist them in dealing with particular matters within the remit of the Group. Every person invited in this way is entitled to take part in the proceedings of the meeting in relation to that matter but will not take part in decision making.

Decision making

  1. The TDLG will operate on the basis of consensus. Where it is not possible to achieve a consensus, on the basis of a majority decision. Once the TDLG has made a decision, each member will support that decision so that the TDLG can present one collective view.
  2. The TDLG will use an agreed decision-making framework as the basis for its assessment and outputs.
  3. The TDLG will be able to seek independent advice and analysis on any matter within the scope of the Terms of Reference.

6. Resource and funding management

  1. $5 million has been allocated from the International Visitor Levy Conservation and Tourism (IVL) fund for MBIE to administer in relation to the TDLG functioning and recommendations.
  2. TDLG will make recommendations to MBIE on how to allocate the $5 million funding. MBIE Tourism Evidence & Insights will provide advice to the Minister of Tourism on implementation recommendations, in line with the funding allocation from the IVL.
  3. MBIE is responsible for the financial management of, and reporting on the allocation from, the IVL for the TDLG functioning and recommendations. MBIE will ensure that the used fund complies with administrative requirements outlined in the Public Finance Act 1989.
  4. MBIE will undertake any procurement process required for any new data or insight initiatives.
  5. A maximum of 2 members from the TDLG can be a part of the MBIE project team to make decisions on the data set procurement using the New Zealand Government Procurement process.
  6. Administration costs for the TDLG, including fees, travel costs and meeting costs, shall be met from the $5m allocation funded from the IVL. Any professional or technical services that the TDLG determines should be secured, will also be funded from this allocation.
  7. MBIE will report regularly to the TDLG on progress in implementing the recommendation, including costs incurred and costs forecast. Re-approval from the Minister of Tourism shall be sought should anticipated costs increase beyond the funding allocation.

7. MBIE, TDLG and the Minister

  1. MBIE Tourism Evidence & Insights will be the conduit of communication between the Minister and TDLG. The TDLG will interact and communicate with MBIE Tourism Evidence & Insights in the first instance. All documentation and dialogue will be presented to MBIE Tourism Evidence & Insights from the TDLG. MBIE Tourism Evidence & Insights will provide feedback to the TDLG to help support their goals.
  2. MBIE will provide advice to the Minister of Tourism on updates and progress of the TDLG’s work programme. Where appropriate, MBIE will provide the TDLG a copy of the relevant advice provided to the Minister.

8. Media and publication

  1. MBIE will assume responsibility for all publicly distributed communication, across any media, regarding the TDLG.
  2. The TDLG will not make media statements without the prior agreement of MBIE. Only the Group Co-Chairs and MBIE shall make public and media statements on behalf of the TDLG.
  3. All media requests received shall be referred to MBIE for their consideration of a response. This requirement does not prevent members expressing personal views in public or the media at any time, if these are not presented as the views of the Group. If the TDLG are asked to provide comment on any issue relating to tourism data and the TDLG by a third party (that is other than the Minister), the TDLG will forward the question or request to the Secretariat.
  4. MBIE Tourism Evidence & Insights will include the TDLG Co-Chairs in the communications process by informing them of the content prior to public distribution.


  1. Members of the TDLG will maintain the confidentiality of information submitted to it or obtained by it and will not disclose information about the operations of the TDLG to any person without the agreement of MBIE.

9 Membership and appointment

  1. The TDLG will consist of a maximum of 9 core members and two independent Co-Chairs and a quorum of 5 members including at least one co-chair. The appointed TDLG members will be leaders and experts from across the spectrum of the tourism sector, economic development agencies, regional tourism organisations, academia, national and local government.
  2. MBIE Tourism Evidence & Insights will use an appointment committee and membership will be based on an expressions of interest process. The Appointment Committee will be comprised of GM Tourism (MBIE), CE Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA), CE NZ Māori Tourism (NZMT), Chair Regional Tourism New Zealand (RTONZ) or their representative.
  3. All members are selected in a personal capacity and will be expected to speak for their areas of expertise rather than the specific interests of their organisation.
  4. Once the appointment committee has finalised its nominations, MBIE will brief the Minister. MBIE will make the final appointments of the TDLG members and Co-Chairs.
  5. Appointment on the TDLG will be for a term of 2 years. Appointments will be reviewed by the Appointment Committee to ensure that there is balanced representation across the tourism data system.
  6. Future reviews of these Terms of Reference will be undertaken at the same time as the appointment process for new members after the completion of the two-year term.
  7. The TDLG should consult with a wide range of stakeholders in the course of their work, including but not limited to local/regional economic development agencies, tourism operators, Māori groups, and government agencies.
  8. Technical advisors with expertise in tourism data and statistics, research and communications will be consulted by the TDLG as required. This may cover areas like sectoral data, hospitality, airline data and Māori tikanga.
  9. If a member wants or needs to resign from the TDLG then they are required to submit their resignation by writing to the Governance Secretariat at
  10. A member’s appointment may be terminated by MBIE following consultation with the Co-Chairs. For a co-chair’s appointment to be terminated, the decision would be MBIEs.
  11. Members cannot nominate alternative nominees to attend meetings on their behalf.


  1. Remuneration for the Co-Chairs of the TDLG has been assessed in accordance with the Cabinet Fees Framework, according to Cabinet Office Circular (12)6. The TDLG falls within Group 4 (All other committees and other bodies) and has been scored at 21 (Level 2).
  2. Actual and reasonable travel and other expenses incurred in the performance of their roles as Co-Chairs and members of the TDLG will be reimbursed.
  3. Members that are not public servants or are not employed by any government agency, Crown entity or local government will be paid in accordance with the Cabinet Fees Framework. This will include remuneration for daily fees, allowances, and other expenses.

Code of Conduct

  1.  All appointed members will be issued with a letter outlining their expected contribution and tenure. The letter will also cover disclosure of Conflicts of Interest and Code of Conduct.
  2. TDLG members will ensure the Group operates in an open and respectful manner. Members’ appointment letters will contain a declaration for them to sign and provide to the Secretariat confirming their understanding of the Code of Conduct and willingness to comply with it.

Breach of Code of Conduct

  1. Any breach of the Code of Conduct will be reported to the Co-Chairs. The Co-Chair(s) will determine an appropriate response. However, only MBIE can decide if suspension or removal of a member for a Code of Conduct breach is necessary. If the co-Chair(s) believe a breach requires MBIE to consider suspension or removal of the member in question, they shall report this to MBIE.

10. Role of the independent Co-Chairs

  1. The TDLG will be led by 2 independent Co-Chairs. Their role will be to provide the impartial leadership and facilitation required to deliver on the TDLG’s shared purpose. They will ensure that a balanced, holistic perspective is maintained with respect to tourism data and insights. This means giving attention to data pertaining to the social, environmental, cultural, and economic aspects of tourism, as laid out in the current industry and government tourism strategies at the time, destination management plans, and the government well-being framework.
  2. One of the Co-Chairs will be appointed specifically to bring a Te Ao Māori perspective and expertise. This co-chair will help ensure that the core principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (partnership, participation, protection) are incorporated into the Group’s decisions and actions, including best practices regarding Māori data sovereignty.
  3. Both chairs will ensure that inclusive and intergenerational perspectives, and data and insights pertaining to a diverse range of users of the tourism system will factor into the Group’s TDLG’s decisions.
  4. Both chairs will be responsible for: 
    • Ensuring the TDLG operates in a manner that enables it to undertake its role and meet its objectives.
    • Acting as the spokespeople for the TDLG in line with MBIE’s policy on external communications (see point 8.2).
    • Liaising with senior executive groups with a tourism interest, such as industry peak body boards, local government, iwi groups and other stakeholders.
    • Managing any conflict of interest or lobbying that may arise.
    • Upholding the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
    • Liaising with technical experts when required by the TDLG.

11. Members’ responsibilities

  1. Members shall not represent any individual stakeholder or interest, but rather apply their leadership and expertise with the aim of improving the tourism data and insights system more broadly.
  2. Members collectively and individually agree to:
    • Act as system stewards by being impartial, supporting the principles of collective interest and collaboration, and providing a conduit for external stakeholders.
    • Ensure that there is good communication about the TDLG’s activity, aims and work to all those with an interest.
    • Uphold the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
    • Seek to include views and needs from the tourism sector, host communities, tangata whenua, and government in the spirit of public-private partnership.
    • Contribute constructively and openly to the work of the TDLG.
    • Act in the interests of the New Zealand tourism sector and public when carrying out the responsibilities of the TDLG

  3. The time commitment required for a TDLG member is anticipated to be 5-6 full days per year (for in-person meetings) plus 5-10 hours per month. Members may also volunteer for additional responsibilities. It is anticipated that the Co-Chairs will each contribute 4-6 days per month to the role, but this may vary.

12. Agency responsibilities

  1. There is an expectation that individuals working in government agencies represented on the TDLG will:
    • Ensure agencies (theirs and any without direct representation) are briefed and kept up to date on progress.
    • Offer resources to the project, whether in the form of data, personnel and financial contribution, or a combination of these.
    • Ensure agencies apply the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
    • Be prepared, informed and responsive.

13. Peak body and sector responsibilities

  1. There is an expectation that any individuals on the TDLG who are employed by a sector body will:
    • Ensure their organisation and stakeholders are briefed and kept up to date on progress.
    • Ensure they present the majority view of their members and ensure significant minority/dissenting views are also made known to the TDLG.
    • Ensure they encourage the offer of resources to the TDLG, whether in the form of data, personnel, financial contribution, or a combination of these.

14. Secretariat

  1. The TDLG will be supported by a secretariat, who will be based within MBIE and funded by MBIE’s Tourism E&I team.
  2. Members of the Secretariat will attend meetings. The Secretariat will receive proposals and agenda for the consideration of the TDLG, and will co-ordinate:
    • regular meetings and agendas
    • expert external advice to the TDLG where necessary
    • the provision of advice and comments back to TDLG.

  3. All information held or produced by the TDLG is subject to the provisions of the OIA. MBIE will process any requests for information relating to the TDLG. MBIE will consult with the Co-Chairs where appropriate.
  4. The Secretariat will provide regular financial updates to the TDLG covering administration costs and all financial project commitments made.

15. Reporting

  1. An initial report on priorities and an implementation plan was submitted to the Minister and MBIE in the fourth quarter of 2022. Annual and half-yearly progress reports are due to MBIE thereafter. At a minimum, these reports should include: 
    • Outline the prioritising and funding of new projects
    • A progress update against the TDLG’s objective
    • Prospects and problems
    • Response to feedback from the Minister and MBIE.

16. Evaluation and monitoring

Evaluation of the TDLG will include:

  1. The TDLG structure, including that it is operating as expected and working effectively to achieve its goals, for example, in accordance with the TOR, decision making, utilisation of resources.
  2. Outputs, including implementation, progress and outcomes of the initiatives recommended by the group.
  3. MBIE Tourism Evidence & Insights will be responsible for producing the evaluation framework in consultation with the TDLG. The framework will outline the information needs, measures, and data sources. The framework will include:
    • Purpose: e.g., to support ongoing review to improve how the TDLG works and what they achieve, accountability, inform future decisions.
    • Scope: e.g., appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency
    • Sized appropriately: the size of the evaluation will align to the funding allocation and acknowledge that the TDLG is mostly on a volunteer basis
    • Thorough: e.g., relationships between TDLG recommendations, business cases, implementation, outputs and outcomes of initiatives to understand why an initiative was effective or not. This is important as the success or otherwise of an initiative may be outside of the TDLG’s control.

  4. Evaluation will be undertaken independently. MBIE and the TDLG will provide advice on the development of measures and expertise and contacts to support the evaluation.

Appendix A: Criteria for membership selection

Skills sought

  • Policy experience
  • Governance/leadership expertise (particularly in public-private partnership settings)
  • Statistics expertise
  • Understanding of how data and information is used at all levels of the industry
  • Understanding of Government data
  • Understanding of tourism research
  • Expertise in Tikanga/Māori
  • Understanding of principles and practices regarding Māori data sovereignty
  • Understanding of business within the Tourism industry
  • Influence in industry

Factors to consider in representation

  • Industry representation
  • Local Government / Economic
  • Development Agency/ Regional Tourism Organisation
  • Small business
  • Māori (business and community)
  • Community voice
  • Key central government agencies, such as MBIE, Department of Conservation, Tourism NZ, etc.
  • Tourism academics
Last updated: 31 March 2023