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OGP Tupu Tai Intern Workshop 26 January 2021

Active Citizenship

1. What do you think would encourage more active citizenship in New Zealand?

- Use layman’s terms/accessible language in documents

- Civics Education. It’s not readily accessible unless you pursue it.

- Clarity on how these processes work,

- Personal relationships – genuine partnership. This consists of consistent check-ins, not just when feedback is needed.

- Targeted programmes – but for people who do not generally engage (but this is a catch-22)

- Greater representation

            - Across all diversity dimensions

            - Fosters more trust

            - Can have those important conversations

- You probably won’t want to engage with a system that you can’t see yourself in.

- Demographic input

            - Ages etc. to put input into programmes. E.g. Electoral commission has 30 year olds targeting 18-24 year old’s, does not work. Govt advertising needs to be on point and relevant to the people you’re trying to target

- Plain English – e.g. what is “civil society”? But acknowledge and use other languages too!

- People care about causes but don’t know how to engage

- I’m sure lots of things exist but we don’t know about them.

- Participatory approach – raise awareness beyond civics education.

- Petitions, submissions, select committees, community engagement, free and inclusive community events.

- Accessibility

            - translations, translators, face to face with people from the community.

- Trust is crucial, people will speak if they think they’ll be heard and they’ll engage if they feel safe.

- I agree with the concept of active citizenship but there’s lots of onus on the citizen, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re not taught how to engage how could you.

- Some honestly don’t care and don’t want to engage, how do you shift the system cycle upwards not downwards. Are we actually targeting those people?

2. who should be involved?

- There is no blanket answer – each community is different.

- Who does the community nominate?

- Everyone

- Day-to-day government workers – individuals not just leaders or select groups/committees to make a change.

3. How would that make a difference to you and others?

- “Faces to names” – personable experience, make it feel more accessible.

- If given a voice, our people become more educated and want to be involved.

- More representative, people are more empowered.

4. What have you heard friends and family members, or others talking about when it comes to this topic?

- Too much jargon

- Lack of education

- Only generally hear what the media says

- Friends and family only talk about stuff around election time

- People vote based on what they always do, families become echo chambers.



1. What do you think government responsiveness should look like?

- Meet the diverse needs needs of its people

- Representative

- Accessible, reliable, communicative.

- Still have different channels like online/phone for those who feel uncomfortable getting face to face, personal help.

- The language on forms could be simplified more eg. Assets on the studylink application

- Plain english and other languages

- Should be more than “lip service” – proactive rather than reactive

- Work into relationship. Monthly meetings and go even if you don’t have something to ask especially with Māori, the group might want to raise something.

- More personal

            - Not just talking to a machine

            - Not condescending

            - Not patronizing

            - Don’t forget that people don’t know what you’re knowledgeable about.

- Govt needs to be more proactive rather than reactive (talked about the climate declaration example, a tremendous amount of effort and overwhelming scientific evidence went in before NZ got there).

- Relationships need to be kept personal and genuine. It’s the same as having a friend, how would your relationship be if you hadn’t said hi in 9 months.

- One place for information you trusted (eg. Ashley Bloomfield), not 7 websites or 7 links. You can tell if someone is competent, knows the answer or is well trained. This applies to call centres too.

- Do people know how to lodge an OIA? (group commented that they didn’t know you could just email).

2. Who should be involved?

- Experts in the field

- Community

3. How would that make a difference to you and others?

- There will be more trust

- There will be more transparency

4. What have you heard friends and family members, or others talking about when it comes to this topic?

- “Studylink sucks”

- complaining about excessive amounts of waiting – time is a cost.


Transparency and accountability

What would you like to see happening differently to encourage greater transparency and accountability?

- Continuous communication – PUT IN WORK

- If you’re being put on hold, tell them why you are doing it. Transparency at every point.

- Give details of “what you need to know” – like with COVID-19, they gave one sentence of what you needed to know. “Today there is 1 new case, in managed isolation” – there is all the details that you needed to know.

- Simple details

- E.g. for COVID-19: Ashley Bloomfield – one place, trusted source, easy access. He became familiar and was easy to understand.

- Multiple ministries and points of contact are confusing.

- Up-to-date websites/sources of information – with effective website design.

- Duplication of work – no co-ordination, no clarity.

- Even though we were told not to use Wikipedia at school, look at how Wikipedia summarises the important stuff and tells you what you need to know.

- Use Instagram posts, go where public actually are.

- Use nominated community leaders who can best communicate to groups.

  • Publish what government is doing in certain areas and keep it simple. Bullet point:
    • What they’re doing
    • Why?
    • How does it affect you?

2. Who should be involved?

- Nominated community leaders who can effectively communicate information to groups.

- Government experts.

- Everyone

- Shareholders

- Concerned groups.

3. How would that make a difference to you and others?


4. What have you heard friends and family members, or others, talking about when it comes to this topic?

Approach and Questions

They were overall happy with the questions we asked but suggested to simplify the overall description of what the Open Government Partnership is and our goals even more. For example “what did they mean by civil society?” Other comments included:

  • Found the who should be involved questions for Govt Responsiveness confusing.
  • Said the examples worked well and were crucial to understanding the themes.
  • Liked how the questions were quite open ended.
  • Some liked being with the same age/ people they felt comfortable around for the first conversation before getting together with different demographics to unpack issues and see how they affect people in different ways. Other flagged the importance of these different perspectives coming together.
  • It was also pointed out that the group composition depends on your aim – different demographics are good to learn things but to get ideas on a page this group worked well.