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New Zealand risks being formally ejected from the Open Government Partnership (OGP).
The Government has sent a letter to the OGP citing the need for a four-month extension on submitting its second Open Government Partnership National Action Plan (NAP). The explanation given is that the processes being considered to make the engagement processes more inclusive means that New Zealand will not be able to submit its 2016-18 National Action Plan by 30 June 2016, but will undertake to do so by the end of October 2016.
While TINZ is thrilled to hear that the engagement process is a priority, this delay has put New Zealand's membership of the OGP at risk.
The OGP does not grant extensions. Their Government Point of Contact Manual states:
New Zealand has already received one letter from the OGP Support Unit by failing to meet the July deadline (known well in advance), and we can anticipate a second one. We will then be subject to review by the OGP's Criteria and Standards subcommittee placing New Zealand at serious risk of being ejected from the OGP.
The Government must take its commitment to this agreement seriously by ensuring that we are not dropping the ball in a move that could jeopardise our participation in this critical global initiative.
TINZ is working with the SSC to try and ensure that the engagement is not only more inclusive, but effective.
This is one red card that could become a serious black mark on our hard won reputation for integrity and transparency.