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New Zealand

Public Participation in Policy Development (NZ0016)



Action Plan: Not Attached

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active


Lead Institution: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, E-Government, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: Pending IRM Review

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i



Commitment 5: Public participation in policy development
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) will assist
the New Zealand public sector to develop a deeper and more consistent
understanding of what good engagement with the public means (right
across the International Association of Public Participation’s spectrum of
public participation).5
New Zealanders increasingly experience a more timely and collaborative
approach to public participation when policies are developed, and consider
their concerns, diversity of views, life experience and time are valued in the
policy process.
Improvements in public participation can result in better design of policy
and services, and increase their legitimacy. Improving public participation
requires an informed approach to applying public participation methods
throughout the policy development process. Developing a deeper
understanding of what good engagement looks like and providing guidance
about best practice methods across government, will achieve a more
consistent and coherent approach to public participation.
Status quo:
To date the majority of consultation has been in the ’inform and consult’
part of the IAP2’s spectrum, involving relatively limited degrees of public
participation that often occurs in the later stage of the policy development
process. There are substantial opportunities to improve the degree of
participation by the public, community organisations, businesses and
employee groups in the development of policy and the design and delivery
of government services. Improvements in public participation in recent
years have been driven by agency-specific or sectoral policy agendas,
demand from stakeholders and proactive action by key individuals at all
levels. Across government, responsibilities related to public participation
have evolved separately and are somewhat ad hoc.
The drive for improved public participation is part of a wider change in
public management in which the traditional role of the citizen has already
moved from “voter” to “customer”, and is now moving from “customer” to
“co-creator”. Under this view, policy and services are designed with, rather
than for, people, respecting their knowledge and beliefs, and their active
role in their own lives and those of other New Zealanders. Lead agency: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Timeline: October 2018 – June 2020
Commitment 5: Develop a deeper and more consistent understanding within
the New Zealand public sector of what good engagement with the public
means (right across the IAP2’s Public Participation Spectrum)
OGP Values Public Participation
Verifiable and measurable milestones to fulfil
the commitment
Start date End date
Extend existing Policy Method’s Toolbox public
participation guidance (
our-programmes/policy-project/policy-methodstoolbox-0) to include a decision tool that will assist
agencies and Ministers to:
• Choose the appropriate engagement approach
on the public participation spectrum when
they tackle a specific policy or service design
• Understand the characteristics and enablers of
effective public participation at whichever point
on the spectrum they choose
• Ensure that the engagement approaches
selected appropriately include and reflect the
diversity of those interested and affected by
the policies.
March 2020
Develop and share recent case studies documenting
New Zealand innovation success stories in public
participation in the policy development process
March 2020
Identify a ‘live’ policy issue in which to trial public
engagement in policy development that is higher on
the public participation spectrum than inform or
consult, as a demonstration project
March 2020
Widely disseminate the results of the above actions March 2020 June 2020


  1. Engagement with Parliament

    NZ0012, 2018, Capacity Building

  2. Youth Parliament

    NZ0013, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. School Leavers' Toolkit

    NZ0014, 2018, Capacity Building

  4. Making New Zealand’S Secondary Legislation Readily Accessible

    NZ0015, 2018, E-Government

  5. Public Participation in Policy Development

    NZ0016, 2018, Capacity Building

  6. Service Design

    NZ0017, 2018, Capacity Building

  7. Official Information

    NZ0018, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  8. Review of Government Use of Algorithms

    NZ0019, 2018, Science & Technology

  9. Data Practice Transparency

    NZ0020, 2018, Capacity Building

  10. Monitoring Information Management Practice

    NZ0021, 2018, Legislation & Regulation

  11. Open Data Government Organizations

    NZ0022, 2018, E-Government

  12. Open Procurement

    NZ0023, 2018, E-Government

  13. Open Budget

    NZ0005, 2016, Capacity Building

  14. Improving Official Information Practices

    NZ0006, 2016, Capacity Building

  15. Improving Open Data Access and Principles

    NZ0007, 2016, Capacity Building

  16. Tracking Progress and Outcomes of Open Government Data Release

    NZ0008, 2016, Capacity Building

  17. Ongoing Engagement for OGP

    NZ0009, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. Starred commitment Improving Access to Legislation

    NZ0010, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Improving Policy Practices

    NZ0011, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. BPS Result 10 – New Zealanders Can Complete Their Transactions with the Government Easily in a Digital Environment

    NZ0001, 2014, E-Government

  21. ICT Strategy Action 13 – Open by Default: Active Re-use of Information Assets

    NZ0002, 2014, Capacity Building

  22. National Integrity System Assessment

    NZ0003, 2014, Anti-Corruption Institutions

  23. The Kia TūTahi Relationship Accord

    NZ0004, 2014, Capacity Building