Skip to main content

Commitment 1 progress report: 31 December 2020

Open Government Partnership New Zealand National Action Plan 2018-2021

Progress report for: Oct – Dec 2020

Commitment N1: Engagement with Parliament

Lead agencies: Office of the Clerk and Parliamentary Service

Objective: To improve public understanding of how Parliament works and engage a greater number of people with its work.

Ambition: People will be able to access information about how Parliament works more easily and more people will engage with Parliament and have their say.

OGP values


Milestone 1

Expand the range of information and resources on Parliament channels (television, website, and social media), to support and encourage uptake of this content by targeted audiences (e.g. teachers and students, new New Zealanders, community groups) and educate on participation in our democracy.

- delivery of eight video pieces

- creation of educational resources for the classroom

Viewer numbers will be monitored quarterly.

Start/End dates: June 2018/June 2021

Progress: underway

Milestone 2

Build the connection between Parliament and New Zealanders by taking Parliament to the people, and raising awareness that Parliament is for everyone, by hosting five events both in and outside of Wellington and digitally.

Start/End dates: December 2018/June 2021

Progress: completed

Milestone 3

Develop and publish new content each quarter showcasing Parliament’s connection between individuals and communities, to make the options for participation transparent and easy to understand how to participate in the democratic process.

Start/End dates: June 2018/June 2021

Progress: underway

Milestone 4

Develop virtual and augmented reality experiences for people to learn and experience Parliament.

Start/End dates: June 2018/June 2021

Progress: completed

What we have been doing


  • Released a Spotlight on Elections video. This short clip aimed to educate the public about the process of elections in a fun and relatable way.
  • Released a general knowledge quiz on elections – 886 people participated in the quiz.
  • The Highlights of the 52nd Parliament video was released. This short video showcases some of the events and significant things that took place during the three year term. It gives the public a snapshot of the variety of things that parliament does.
  • Released a short video that explains the different agencies at Parliament and their functions. This helps the public to understand how parliament functions behind the scenes.
  • Released “Parliament 101” – this video is a crash course in what parliament does in New Zealand.


  • Launched the ‘create your own parliament’ tool. Create your own Parliament is an interactive tool that allows you to visualise your own Parliament. You can select from fictional political parties in the list of options, input the number of votes for each, and see how this would be reflected in New Zealand’s debating chamber. You can also rearrange the parties to achieve a majority and form a government.
  • The Opening of Parliament events were delivered. Two videos were released – one prior to the events, and one post. They explained the significance of the events for our democracy. We also hosted an online exhibition on the Parliament website which explains some objects and items of significance to the ceremonies.
  • When the new Parliament opened, implementation of the Standing Orders review recommendations began. Changes that will directly benefit public engagement with Parliament:
    • Enhanced capacity for petitions—online petitions to be adopted as a permanent feature, with the rules for petitions being rewritten. Petitions will be overseen by a new Petitions Committee, with powers to refer petitions to other select committees, seek assistance from the Ombudsman, and require Ministers to respond directly to petitions.
    • More time for non-legislative business—greater House time to be spent debating non-legislative business, like petitions, regulations, inquiries, or local issues.
    • Remote committee meetings—select committees to be able to meet remotely, for example using videoconferences or teleconferences, with members generally able to participate remotely even when meetings are taking place in the Parliament Buildings.


  • Released another Spotlight video on the Floors of Parliament. This short video discusses some of the interesting histories of carpets and tiles around the parliamentary precinct that connect us to Westminster traditions, and even have constitutional significance.

How we are including diverse voices

  • In anticipation of the 2020 General Election, we released a new resource for children called ‘Make Your Mark’. The activity book was aimed to keep children entertained while waiting for the results to come in on election night. Activities include helping the new members find their way to Parliament, a crossword, word find, spot the difference, and lots of quirky facts about Parliament! This has since been adapted to become a children’s resource that can be used anytime.
  • During November, we opened recruitment for Rito. Rito is a youth reference group that will work with the Office of the Clerk and Parliamentary Service to deliver a project that increases youth engagement with Parliament. Eight members between the ages of 16 and 20 have been selected from the wider Wellington region (up to Levin).
  • We supported two young New Zealanders to attend the first virtual Commonwealth Youth Parliament in December. The youth parliament is focused on ensuring young people are heard and that parliaments rise to contemporary challenges including climate change, health crises, and sustainable economic development.
  • In December, we opened up expressions of interest for an Accessibility Reference Group. The agencies supporting Parliament are committed to creating and maintaining an accessible Parliament so that everyone is able to learn about, experience, and participate in parliamentary processes with ease.

How we are keeping diverse communities informed

  • New Zealand Sign Language interpretation was provided on Parliament TV for the Commission and State Openings on 25 – 26 November, a total of 7.5 hours.

What’s next?

  • Launching an interactive maps tool on the Parliament website, to show the reach of the Speaker’s outreach programme and Inter-Parliamentary Relations activities.
  • Celebrating Children’s Day at Parliament on 7 March. An outdoor augmented reality tour of Parliament will be launched at this event.
  • Parliament stall at the Newtown Festival in Wellington, and Pasifika Festival in Auckland.
  • A new animation that explains the differences between Parliament and Government.
  • A 2021 programme of Speaker’s Outreach around New Zealand, beginning in Christchurch. For the first time, the annual programme will also include select committee outreach.
  • A flagship video on Women in Parliament, detailing the history and experiences of members in Parliament.

Links – evidence of progress and milestones achieved