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A Rough Guide to New Zealand's Longitudinal Business Database

Publication Details

  • A Rough Guide to New Zealand's Longitudinal Business Database (AP 16/02)
  • Published: 7 Apr 2016
  • Status: Current
  • Authors: Fabling, Richard; Sanderson, Lynda
  • Pages: (4),ii,59
  • ISBN: 978-0-908337-62-0 (Online)
  • Ref. No: AP 16/02
  • Pub. type: Analytical Papers
  • JEL Classification: C8

A Rough Guide to New Zealand's Longitudinal Business Database (2nd edition)

Published Mar 2016

Authors: Richard Fabling and Lynda Sanderson

This paper was produced as a collaborative work by Statistics New Zealand and the New Zealand Treasury. Richard Fabling's contribution to the paper was funded by Statistics New Zealand and Lynda Sanderson's contribution was completed while she was employed by the Treasury under secondment to Statistics New Zealand.


New Zealand's Longitudinal Business Database is a rich resource for understanding the behaviour of New Zealand firms. This paper provides an introductory guide to the content and structure of the data aimed at new and prospective users. Where relevant, it references other publications which provide greater detail on particular aspects of the data. It also briefly describes access protocols for researchers, and processes for updating and expanding the database.

Browse section/chapter Download/Page range

1 Introduction

2 Structure of the LBD

3 Population coverage and overlap

4 Protocols

5 Conclusions



ap16-02.pdf (1,187 KB) pp. 1–59


The results in this paper are not official statistics, they have been created for research purposes from the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) managed by Statistics New Zealand. The opinions, findings, recommendations and conclusions expressed in this paper are those of the authors not Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, Statistics NZ or the Treasury. Access to the anonymised data used in this study was provided by Statistics NZ in accordance with security and confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act 1975. Only people authorised by the Statistics Act 1975 are allowed to see data about a particular person, household, business or organisation and the results in this paper have been confidentialised to protect these groups from identification. Careful consideration has been given to the privacy, security and confidentiality issues associated with using administrative and survey data in the IDI. Further detail can be found in the privacy impact assessment for the Integrated Data Infrastructure available from The results are based in part on tax data supplied by Inland Revenue to Statistics NZ under the Tax Administration Act 1994. This tax data must be used only for statistical purposes, and no individual information may be published or disclosed in any other form, or provided to Inland Revenue for administrative or regulatory purposes. Any person who has had access to the unit-record data has certified that they have been shown, have read, and have understood section 81 of the Tax Administration Act 1994, which relates to secrecy. Any discussion of data limitations or weaknesses is in the context of using the IDI for statistical purposes, and is not related to the data's ability to support Inland Revenue's core operational requirements. Statistics NZ confidentiality protocols were applied to the data sourced from the New Zealand Customs Service, Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Te Puni Kokiri. Any discussion of data limitations is not related to the data's ability to support these government agencies' core operational requirements.


The authors would like to thank the many staff at Statistics New Zealand and Inland Revenue who fact-checked the metadata, and Dave Maré and Michele Morris for helpful advice and suggestions on the paper as a whole. Richard Fabling gratefully acknowledges funding from Statistics New Zealand. This paper updates and extends the original "Rough Guide", written by Richard Fabling while he was employed by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand under secondment to Statistics New Zealand.

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