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Ideas from Canterbury University Student Workshop 26 May 2021

Active Citizenship

We have no idea what local MPs do! Advertise changes

Use social media challenges. We actually look at Tiktok not Facebook. Adapt to social trends.

Celebrity ambassador to channel through govt info on the gram.

Improve in spreading information beyond social media at the current time. Plan ahead.

Centre communities around community hubs/spaces such as community gardens. To create opportunities for citizens to get to know their communities and neighbours.

Mandatory civics educations which include discussion of current issues and upcoming policies with government officials coming in and giving students opportunity to submit ideas

More supports and acknowledgement for those who are involved and helping the community.

ACC review – definition of an accident/injury to cover proper claims

Student discount on petrol – encourage people to go to uni and study

Funding/scholarships for school sport fees for children in need

Lower the cost of citizenship, $470 too much

Studylink – more funding to make processes easier and quicker

Life skills incorporate into teaching curriculum

Don’t just talk to universities, talk to polytechs and NZISS

More promotion about inclusivity for all people at uni eg: Law for change, UCSA. More promotion to all students.

Reviews on tax of particular items eg: feminine hygiene and healthy foods.

More discussions around options that are not just university eg: not academic, more lifestyle.

More funding for lower decile schools/communities for sports equipment and uniforms.

“Balance is Better” – more discussions around this eg: sports, academics.

Fun ways to make people learn about stuff and issues – TV shows, series, more awareness on podcasts.

More collaborators between supermarket and community centres to have more support for those who need it.

More free hospital parking

Civic engagement programmes in primary and high school. Engage young people with society and civic duties from early on so that behaviours become engrained for life.

Need compulsory training on Treaty of Waitangi and implicit biases for certain workplaces

People need to feel compelled to care and be engaged. Promote this in schools. Have education programmes that ensure students feel a sense of responsibility and protectiveness towards the people and environment around them. This could be: community service/volunteering opportunities, outdoor education that promotes the connectivity and wellbeing effects of the outdoors. The goal would be to foster social responsibility through an increased appreciation for/understanding of humanity and the environment.

Voting age should be 16.

Problem – Older members of society who don’t engage with prominent issues where as young people are very engaged. Potentially issue some kind of guide for younger people to have conversations to get them to engage. Could use events ie: dinner gathering that bring different communities together to encourage a safe space, you can ask anything with no judgment to increase understanding and connection. Schools for parents.

Utilise school communities to bring together people from varying backgrounds.

Replace shallow tv slots with important informative shows, give people an opportunity to understand things outside their realm of work/study/hobbies.

Communities that give actual lived experience. Groups of people brought together to work out issues together, a chance to get to know people personally and beyond the level of being different! How would you bring these people together.

More documentaries on prominent issues like Seaspiracy shown on main TV channels. So older generations are exposed to them.

More engagement with local government. Pushing for a better understanding of the importance of local government for immediate community.

Simplify websites and information that isn’t easy to navigate.

Clear process for government submissions for example where local MP’s or other govt officials should provide feedback on where this submission went and what impact is has to encourage engagement.

Inclusive politics, breaking down social barriers, community initiatives that encourage inclusivity. Increased feelings of accountability towards people outside immediate ‘circle’.

Have summary reports – simplifying complex issues on a website

Engaging in survey etc having voices heard or older generation encouraging them to engage with these issues.

Extend electoral term to 4 years

More Q and A’s with public officials. Instagram lives and different platforms. 

Personability of public officials = greater accountability.

Transparency around where funding is coming from.

What happens in parliament.


Politicians work for us, we want to know what you do, engage underage voters in the community.

In schools, teach you about basic govt functions. Introduce civics into the curriculum in primary school not high school.

More informal settings to engage people of all backgrounds, maybe in the workplace.

Council curating space for discussion

Using organisations to discuss ideas and have a leader to bring those ideas forward

Have a system where you can lodge comments, not a formal complaint process, that is raised when policy is drafted. So they don’t wait for submissions during the process.

Monthly update from MPs and Ministers on current issues to be open to suggestions on those topics

More funding for mental health including shorter wait times eg: a month wait currently to get help for Anxiety disorders. Increase counselling in schools. More money in disability allowances. There are unmet promises and commitments, we need accountability for this.

Figurehead/committee of students at university as branch of government.

Teach civics in schools, fundamentals and understanding of how to vote etc, how govt works.

Have drop in clinics where people could make submissions to govt.

Increase personal relationships with local MPs etc, have faces.

Awareness – have uni guidance to all students of all degrees as to how they can get involved.

Quicker waiting times and research into womens health issues eg: endometriosis. More awareness by public bodies/health boards to decrease diagnostic times.

Outreach to other cities and towns about government issues. Don’t just visit Wellington.

Use plain language – humanised aspect of government to engage with more people. Bridge gap.

Better promotion of events such as this OGP workshop – collective association

Making media /news more relatable to students and use young reporters.

More personal communication so students and younger people can understand what’s going on.

Make government websites more accessible eg: parliament

At community law, we see people not able to just google answers. Privilege to understand how to navigate your rights, the law and government.


Easy to read and understand monthly graphics with updates on policy etc

Some kind of ask live app/website where people can ask questions on policy etc whenever they want with no judgement etc]

Through Jacinda’s daily 1pm updates, maybe every Friday/Saturday do a live speech.

Algorithms are becoming increasingly prevalent. Key issues that require regularity are issues around data privacy and bias.

Mandatory voting like Australia has.

Mandatory community service so people have a greater sense of community

Increase awareness of upcoming projects and developments so the public is more informed and can submit ideas.

Lowering the voting age to 16 – Scotland and Austria have introduced this and have high levels of voter participation. Combined with civics education, have more informed citizens with good voting habits.

Making citizen initiated referenda more accessible and effective with less stringent criteria.

Honest and informative short news segment on local and national projects/decisions explaining pros and cons and why certain decisions have been made and accept submissions afterwards.

Representative committee with cycling membership drawn like a jury with LGBTQIA+, Māori, Pasifika, other minorities and women membership ot ensure policies take their perspectives into account

Use QR codes on projects which takes you to one page listing what’s being done, why they made the decision, why alternate solutions didn’t work and anemail to respond to it eg: Middleton Road Intersection

QR codes on projects eg roadworks on why its being done and what the other options were and why this one was chosen.

Information showing whether tax revenue collected for a particular purpose is going to those initiatives ef fuel tax going to climate related issues.

Restore Ministerial Accountability, rather than Ministers blaming public servants and not owning up to why failures happened.

More proactice release of information and making OIA requests easier, and releasing this information to the public. Have it accessible so not only law and politics students people can understand it.

Using laymans terms so the public can actually understand what is going on.

Better cybersecurity to protest data of submitters on government initiatives

Lower secondary tax!!!!

Have more young government members come and talk to us (more relatable)

Not everyone has a tv, not everyone has a computer. Multiple channels needed.

Drop box clinics every 6 months in community hubs/schools for questions and concerns.

More promotion about inclusivity for all people at uni eg: law for change, UCSA. More promotion to all students.

Put a face to name and role for Chief Executives. Brief weekly/fortnightly notes as to what agencies are doing.

Updates communicated as bills go through parliamentary processes.

More facts and less opinion/arguments among politicians. Its hard to see a factual review of governments policy as the opposition make it so heated.

Every 3-6 months have an update on policies and actions. Put in on Instagram and media.

Independent body to analyse policies etc as to what is happening.

Q and A with Parliament weekly.

Mid term debates and progress reports shown to public on TV/Media

Politicians as humans and not as formal communications in ways that are easier to understand.

Updates as bills go through parliamentary processes.

Cheaper dental care