In December eight civil society organisations gave a ‘summer reading’ briefing to Minister Hipkins in his capacity as Minister for Public Service. This followed our work over the past year, alongside other civil society organisations, on improving New Zealand’s commitment to the Open Government Partnership (OGP).
The Open Government Partnership is about strengthening democracy in New Zealand by ensuring New Zealanders can contribute and influence what Government does and how it does it. Collectively our organisations committed to this mahi to ensure that Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission and government as a whole lift their game in supporting deeper levels of public participation, and greater transparency.
Some of the core issues covered under our briefing included: the imperative to embed Te Tiriti o Waitangi in OGP processes; the need for inclusive public participation, responsiveness and co-creation; and embedding better public engagement in OGP design. TINZ specifically promoted the importance of the need for data integrity in the forthcoming NAP4 commitments.
We also highlighted that other countries’ experience with their National Action Plans over the last decade have shown that the most successful ones have been where the government has committed sufficient resources to the work on each of the commitments.
We affirmed that achieving ambitious goals in NAP4 will require funded projects which need to be included in Budget 2022.
The government risks repeating the experience of previous NAPs, which have been constrained in ambition and delivery by lack of funding.
The organisations contributing to this document are: Environment and Conservation Organisations of Aotearoa New Zealand (ECO), Hui E! Community Aotearoa, InternetNZ, Network Waitangi Ōtautahi, NZ Council for Civil Liberties, Transparency International New Zealand, Trust Democracy and Volunteering New Zealand