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Commitment 1 progress report: September 2020

Open Government Partnership New Zealand National Action Plan 2018-2020

Progress report for: July – September 2020

Commitment 1 progress report: September 2020

Commitment 1: Engagement with Parliament

Lead agency: 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: Transparency, Public Participation, Technology and Innovation



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: Complete

Milestone 3

Develop and publish content showing ‘real people’ start petitions and make submissions to select committees, and make the options for having your say transparent and easy to understand to show people 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

In July:

  • the Education Team packed about 800 virtual reality headsets to be sent out to schools who had participated in a recent survey on Parliament’s education programmes.
  • the New Zealand Parliamentary Rugby team (NZPRT) celebrated its 25th anniversary with a special match tackling the formidable Centurions XV, played at the Wellington grounds where it all began in 1995.
  • the Speaker visited Holy Family School in Wānaka, as part of the Speaker’s Outreach programme. The school had won a video call with the Speaker, the prize for completing a national survey of teaches. Instead, the Speaker offered to visit in person. Local media also covered the story.
  • we showcased the work of two Southland students who recreated New Zealand Parliament’s debating chamber in Minecraft. The students came to visit Parliament and see the chamber in person on 11 September.
  • We continued our online webinar series. These online webinars are open and free to the public. They are pitched at audiences from beginner to mid-level, with some experts tuning in. They explain parliamentary processes in simpler terms. Public participation is encouraged through use of the chat function and surveys. Expert speakers provide insights on the topic before a Q + A session. All the webinar materials are provided post webinar on our website for accessibility.

Māori Electorates and the Māori Electoral Roll (19 August)

This was rated 3.5/5. 100% of survey participants said they felt more confident in their knowledge of the Māori Electorates and Māori Electoral Roll after attending the webinar. This webinar has 3,700 views on Facebook.

The Life Cycle of Parliament (18 September)

This was rated 3.8/5. 100% of survey participants said they were more confident about the life cycle of Parliament after attending the webinar. 

  • In August, we hosted our first livestreamed tour of Parliament. A tour guide ran a tour whilst showing footage of the parliamentary precinct and answering questions over Zoom. This had 5,100 views.

In September:

  • Parliament was dissolved. For the first time, the Dissolution was live on Parliament TV.
  • we released our 4th Taonga of Parliament video. This video features the Tumu Whakarae of Parliament explaining what the tokotoko means to him. This coincided with Māori Language Week.
  • we hosted a professional development session for 21 teachers onsite. This session was part of a three day course which involved teachers focussing on Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and civics education.  Our session involved connecting teachers to what we offer on an educational visit to Parliament, and also allowed for robust discussion on the areas where they saw more development was needed in terms of the content we covered and connections to Te Tiriti.
  • There has been a review of the Standing Orders of Parliament which are the rules Members of Parliament follow. The Speaker and Deputy Speaker made a video explaining the changes.

How we are including diverse voices

  • In celebration of Matariki, we created an online exhibition in July on a selection of woven kete and kākahu that have been gifted to the Parliamentary Collection throughout the years.
  • In July, the Matters of Pride exhibition was held online, showcasing the art installation in the Galleria of Parliament. Different ethnic groups are represented in the art.
  • In July and August, an exhibition named Tātau Tātau, Enabling Good Lives was held at Parliament. The purpose of the exhibition was to support persons with disabilities to live their best lives showcased in Parliament's latest exhibition.
  • To celebrate Chinese Languages Week in September, an online exhibition was created to showcase some of the many gifts the Parliamentary Collection have received from Chinese representatives.
  • In September, a new education resource was released for ESOL learners. The aim of this workbook is to introduce students to vocabulary and ideas that are often complex, but necessary to understand Parliament in a New Zealand setting and make it relevant to their lives.
  • During NZSL week, we released a video which collaborated with JPF Films to show you how you can have your say in New Zealand Sign Language.

How we are keeping diverse communities informed

  • New Zealand Sign Language interpretation was available for the following items of business:
  • Tuesday 4 August, Rt Hon Ruth Dyson’s Valedictory Statement
  • Tuesday 4 August, Gareth Hughes’ Valedictory Statement
  • Tuesday 4 August, Hon Clare Curran’s Valedictory Statement
  • On 15 September, we released a video celebrating Te Wiki o te Reo Māori which featured Parliament staff.
  • The second Education team newsletter ‘Ayes on Education’ was sent out to all schools in New Zealand. This newsletter explains all the various resources and ways schools can engage with Parliament.

What's next?

  • Continued programme of webinars (now monthly)
  • The Inter-Parliamentary Relations Strategy, which is being refreshed for the 53rd Parliament, anticipates increased parliamentary international engagement including by virtual means. Engagement with the diplomatic corps, expatriate communities, and other organisations domestically is planned to enhance understanding of the NZ Parliament’s global engagement and to promote good governance and democracy.
  • Development of an E-Book about Parliament for children that will be accessible online.
  • Development of online programmes to increase public participation to school groups who may not otherwise be able to access a face to face tour of Parliament.
  • We are working alongside Victoria University of Wellington, other EOTC sites around Wellington and selected schools in a Teacher and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI). This research asks informal educators (e.g. the Education team at Parliament) to work alongside a teacher when preparing a visit to Parliament.  The development of a shared focus allows for greater connections to be made to what Parliament’s roles are and how it can connect to young people in a variety of ways e.g. through social actions.  The aim is to use the research to develop greater depth in young people’s understanding of Parliament, and strengthen their knowledge of how they can participate in our democracy. 
  • Launch of an Accessibility Reference Group to Parliament.
  • Launch of Rito – a group of young people to advise Office of the Clerk and the Parliamentary Service on its work with engaging with youth in Parliament’s work.
  • Opening of Parliament ceremonies, which the public can watch on PTV and on the front lawn of Parliament.

Links – Evidence of progress and milestones achieved