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Open Government in Aotearoa New Zealand: What it is, and why it matters | Kāwanatanga Tuwhera i Aotearoa: Tōna kaupapa me tōna whai tikanga ki a tātou

Building a more open and responsive Public Service and increasing New Zealanders’ participation in democracy

Open government is about strengthening democracy, building trust, and improving wellbeing by ensuring our people can contribute and influence what government does, and how it does it.

The Public Service delivers government services across Aotearoa New Zealand.  The way that policies are developed and how services are designed impacts on every New Zealander in some way. 

The Public Service Act 2020 enshrines the concepts of active citizenship, open government, responsiveness (understanding and meeting the needs and aspirations of New Zealanders) and stewardship (thinking about making a difference in the long-term). The Act expects the Public Service to support the Government in its relationships with Māori under Te Tiriti o Waitangi | The Treaty of Waitangi through the way we engage with Māori and understand and respond to Māori perspectives. The Act also affirms the spirit of service to the community that public servants bring to their work.

While we are consistently among the top countries in global measures of integrity, including the wellbeing of citizens, openness, transparency, the rule of law and preventing corruption, we have much more to do. 

Membership of the Open Government Partnership, and our commitment to the aims and principles of the Partnership, are part of our ambition to improve transparency and build understanding of what government does and why it does it.

The commitments we make in our fourth National Action Plan will build on New Zealand’s long and proud tradition of open and transparent government, and support our Public Service to foster active citizenship and open government.

The relationships and mutual understanding we build now will be a foundation for the Public Service partnering with communities in the future and becoming more responsive.

“Active citizenship means people getting involved in their local communities and democracy at all levels, from towns to cities to nationwide activity. Active citizenship can be as small as a campaign to clean up your street or as big as educating young people about democratic values, skills and participation. Active citizenship is one of the most important steps towards healthy societies.”

Andrej Nosko & Katalin Széger Active Citizenship Can Change Your Country for the Better (2013)

What is Aotearoa New Zealand doing to improve the openness of government?

Aotearoa New Zealand already has government institutions with high levels of trust. But around the world we are seeing levels of trust in government decline in many countries. That’s why it is so important that we continue to meet the expectations of New Zealanders and maintain that trust.

One way of doing this is using the Open Government Partnership.

The OGP is an international agreement between 78 member nations that aims to improve transparency, increase public participation, and use new technologies to make governments more accountable, responsive and inclusive.

The Aotearoa New Zealand Government has been a member of the OGP since 2013. We are currently developing our 4th OGP National Action Plan, to start in mid-2021. This process is led by Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission on behalf of the Government.

Developing a new National Plan provides an opportunity to work with communities and civil society to find new ways to work with New Zealanders to improve wellbeing  while also creating a better understanding of what our government institutions do and how it they do it.

The goal is to create this plan with New Zealanders. We want to practise whakawhanaungatanga, valuing the wisdom and experience of the diverse people and communities of Aotearoa New Zealand.

“An effective Open Government Partnership promotes accountable, responsive and inclusive governance. Transparency International New Zealand expects the New Zealand government to make aspirational OGP commitments that will drive integrity and transparency through increased citizen engagement. These are essential to the development and implementation of a significant 4th National Action Plan.”

Transparency International New Zealand

What does OGP and open government mean for me?

For New Zealanders -  this is an opportunity for you to participate in creating a strong new National Action Plan. An effective National Action Plan is one where, working together, New Zealanders develop commitments that further the OGP goals of strengthening democracy, building trust, and improving wellbeing.

For communities and community groups within Aotearoa New Zealand - we invite you to share your wisdom, thoughts, experiences, challenges and aspirations to create a strong Plan. This is a chance to represent your communities, help remove barriers, start conversations and keep them alive, and deliver and contribute to change.

For public servants, local government and government agencies - we want you to work with and better connect with the communities you serve, share knowledge, learn from new and diverse voices, and explore innovative ways to work together now and in the future.

“I took so much away from the experience and made me realise how important youth are for New Zealand in the future. This was certainly important for me to meet a diverse range of people.”

Youth Parliament 2019 participant, Commitment 2, NZ National Action Plan 2018–2020

Who do we want to hear from?

No two communities are the same. We want to create the opportunity for a wide range of community and individual voices to be heard.

No one knows communities as well as those who live in them. We encourage people to use their community connections and institutions to have locally led and focussed discussions and meetings – to form a “network of networks”. A connected community fosters engagement and inclusion and opens the door to participation.

The greater the diversity of who is involved, and the wider the conversations we have, the better we can develop a shared understanding of and respond to the challenges individuals and communities face, how their lives and wellbeing can be improved, and plot the course for improving outcomes.

“We all live in a place and every place has unique strengths, assets, contexts and wisdom. When we build on these, transformative change becomes possible. Understanding and activating all the resources in our places is key to enhancing social, economic, cultural and environmental wellbeing.”

Inspiring Communities, Shaping the Future report

How can you get involved?

Mahi kotahitanga is about working together, sharing expertise, and co-operation. For that to work we need to come together or connect in a way that works for you: online, in person, individually or through your community groups – or other organisations that represent or work for New Zealanders.

Individuals: we invite you to join the conversation, share your experiences, talk to each other and us, and suggest areas for change and help to shape commitments. A diversity of voices is welcome and needed. There will be online and in-person opportunities to participate – it’s up to you to decide what works best for you.

Communities, local governments and agencies: we want to make contact, offer to start conversations, share your networks and knowledge, help New Zealanders understand what open government means for them, offer space at your events, and encourage your communities to engage with this process and build lasting relationships.

“You hear about big issues sometimes but what happens day to day in government, how do they arrive at big decisions like the Budget?”

“What is the best way to get a movement started, does it have to be a petition, what else?”

“If we understood the election process better we would have more motivation to use our voice.”

Youth workshop participants share what they want to know about government


Being a member of the OGP helps us share knowledge and expertise and learn from the experience of others.

“Open government thrives when people come together in dialogue and work to co-create and implement reforms that bring governments closer to their people.”

Sanjay Pradhan
Chief Executive Officer, Open Government Partnership

Te whai kia kaha ake te tuwhera me te urupare o te Ratonga Tūmatanui me te whai wāhitanga o ngā tāngata o Aotearoa ki te manapori

Ko tā te kāwanatanga tuwhera he whakakaha i te manapori, he whakatipu i te whakapono, me te whakapai ake i te oranga mā te whakarite huarahi e whai koha ai, e whakaawe ai ō tātou tāngata i ngā mahi a te kāwantanga.

Ko tā te Ratonga Tūmatanui he tuku ratonga kāwanatanga puta noa i Aotearoa.  Ahakoa te huarahi hei hanga kaupapa here, ratonga hoki ki ka pā tonu ērā ki ia tangata, ki ia tangata o Aotearoa.

Ko tā te Public Service Act 2020 he rauhī i ngā ariā o te kirirautanga, te kāwanatanga tuwhera, te uruparenga (te whakamārama me te whakatutuki i ngā hiahia o ngā tāngata o Aotearoa) me kaitiakitanga (te whai huanga i roto i te wā roa). Ko taua Act anō te hiahia kia tautoko te Ratonga Tūmatanui i te Kāwanatanga i runga i ōna tūhononga ki te Māori i raro i Te Tiriti o Waitangi mā roto i te āhua o te whakaanga ki te Māori kia mārama, kia urupare hoki ki ngā tirohanga Māori. Ko tā te Act anō he whakaū i te mahi a ngā kaimahi tūmatanui i roto i te wairua o te hāpai i te hapori.

Ahakoa kei ngā taumata teitei a Aotearoa mō ngā whenua e ai ki ngā inenga ā-ao mō te pono, me te oranga o te tāngata, te tuwhera, te mārama, te kawa o te ture me te aukati i te mahi hē, ka nui tonu ngā mahi mā tātou. 

Ko te hao o te ngākau ka noho hei mema o te Whakahoatanga Kāwanatanga Tuwhera, me te ngākaunui ki ngā whāinga me ngā mātāpono o taua Whakahoatanga, e pai ake ai, e mārama tonu ai tā te kāwanatanga mahi me te take e pērā ai.

Ko ngā whakatau i tā mātou Mahere Mahi ā-Motu tuawhā, ka whakapiki ki runga i te tāhū roa me ngā tuku ihotanga o te kāwanatanga tuwhera, mārama hoki ki Aotearoa, me te tautoko i te Ratonga Tūmatanui ki te kumanu i te kirirautanga me te kāwanatanga tuwhera.

Ko ngā tūhononga me te māramatanga kotahi o āianei ka noho hei tūāpapa mō te Ratonga Tūmatanui i a ia ka whai ki te mahitahi me ngā hapori, kia kaha ake ai te urupare i ngā rā kei te tū mai.

E aha ana a Aotearoa kia pai ake te kāwanatanga tuwhera?

Kei Aotearoa nei ngā rōpū kāwanatanga e mau tonu nei ki te tika me te pono. Heoi, huri te ao e kite ana i ngā whenua e hia nei, te hekenga o te whakapono ki te kāwanatanga. Koina te take kia kaha tonu tātou ki te whakatutuki i ngā hiahia o ngā tāngata o Aotearoa kia mau tonu ai te whakapono.

Ko tētahi huarahi e tutuki ai tēnei hiahia ko te Whakahoatanga Kāwanatanga Tuwhera (OGP).

Ko te OGP he whakaaetanga ā-ao i waenga i ngā whenua e 78, ā, ko te whāinga ia kia pai ake te māramatanga, kia nui ake te whai wāhitanga a te iwi whānui, kia whakamahi hoki i ngā hangarau hou kia kaha ake te noho haepapa, te urupare me te noho tuwhera ki te katoa.

Kua noho te Kāwanatanga o Aotearoa hei mema o te OGP mai i 2013. I tēnei wā kei te hanga mātou i tā mātou Mahere Mahi ā-Motu OGP Tuawhā, ka tīmata ai hei te waenganui tau o 2021. Ka arahina tēnei mahi e Te Kawa Mataaho mō te taha ki te Kāwanatanga.

Mā te hanga i tētahi Mahere Mahi ā-Motu hou e whai huarahi ai mātou ki te mahitahi me ngā hapori me te porihanga tūmatanui ki te rapu tikanga hou e mahitahi ai me ngā tāngata o Aotearoa kia pai ake te oranga kia noho mārama ake hoki te tangata ki ngā mahi me ngā tikanga a ngā rōpū kāwanatanga.

Ko te whāinga ia kia mahitahi me ngā tāngata o Aotearoa ki te hanga i tēnei mahere. Ko te whai mātou i te whakawhanaungatanga, te whakanui i te whakaaronui me te mātauranga o ngā tāngata me ngā hapori  rerekē o Aotearoa.

He aha tā te OGP me te kāwanatanga tuwhera ki au?

ngā tāngata o Aotearoa -  koinei tētahi huarahi e whai wāhi ai koe ki waihanga i tētahi Mahere Māhi ā-Motu kaha nei. Ko te Mahere Mahi ā-Motu whaihua ko tērā e mahi ngātahi ana ngā tāngata o Aotearoa ki te whakarite tikanga e whakaū ai i ngā whāinga OGP, arā, kia kaha ake te manapori, kia whakatipu i te whakapono, kia whakapai ake te oranga hoki.

Mō ngā hapori me ngā rōpū hapori i Aotearoa – e haere ana te tono ki a koutou ki te whakaaronui, ngā huatau, ngā wheako, ngā wero me ngā wawata hei waihanga i tētahi Mahere kaha. He kaupapa tēnei kia kuhu mai koe hei kanohi mō tō hapori, hei turaki i ngā taupā, kia tipu he whakawhiti kōrero e ora tonu ai, kia whaikoha hoki ki tētahi huarahi hou.

ngā kaimahi rāngai tūmatanui, kāwanatanga ā-rohe me ngā umanga kāwanatanga -  kia kaha tonu koutou ki te mahitahi, ki te tūhonohono ki ngā hapori kei reira koe e whakarato ana, ki te tuku mōhiotanga, ki te ako i ngā reo hou, rerekē hoki, ki te wānanga i ngā tikanga auaha kia mahitahi i āianei, i ngā rā ki tua hoki.

Kia rongo kōrero mātou i a wai?

He rerekē ngā hapori katoa, tētahi i tētahi. Kei te hiahia mātou ki te whakarite huarahi e rangona ai ngā reo takitini, iwi whānui mai, hapori mai, tangata takitahi mai.

Ko te hunga nōna te hapori, mōhio tonu ia ki tōna hapori anō. Ka ākina e mātou ko ngā tāngata o tēnā hapori, o tēnā hapori ki te toro atu ki ngā taura here o roto i te hapori ki te ārahi i ā rātou ake hui, matapakinga hoki – kia tū tētahi “kōtuinga nui tonu”. Mā reira e anga mai ai, e tomo mai hoki te tangata ki te whakawhiti kōrero, whakaaro hoki.

Kia whānui ake, kia rerekē hoki ngā tāngata e whai wāhi mai ana, ka whānui hoki ā tāttou matapakinga, ka noho tonu tātou i runga i te whakaaro kotahi ki ngā wero ki te tangata takitahi, ki ngā hapori hoki, he pēhea e whakatakoto i te ara kia pai ake te oranga me ngā huanga.

Me pēhea koe e whai wāhi ai?

Mahi kotahitanga koia te mahitahi, te wānanga tahi, te mahi ngātahi. Hei whakatinana i te mahitahi me huitahi, me honotahi rānei i runga i te tūāhua e pai ana mōu: ā-tuihono, ā-tinana, takitahi, mā ngā rōpū hapori rānei – mā ētahi atu whakahaere e tū ana, e mahi ana rānei mō ngā tāngata o Aotearoa.

He tangata takitahi: e haere ana te tono ki a koe kia hono mai ki te whakawhiti kōrero, mō ōu wheako, te kōrero tētahi ki tētahi, ki a mātou hoki, ki te whakaputa whakaaro mō ngā wāhi kia panoni hei whakahāngai i ngā whakatau. Kia rangona ai ngā reo maha, reo rerekē, ka tika. Ka whai wāhi ai koe mā ngā huarahi tuihono me ngā hui kanohi-ki-te-kanohi – kei a koe te tikanga ko tēhea te huarahi pai mōu.

Ngā hapori, ngā kāwanatanga ā-rohe me ngā rōpū kāwanatanga: kei te hiahia mātou ki te whakapā atu ki a koutou, kia tīmata te whakawhiti kōrerowe, kia huitahi ngā kōtuinga, ngā mōhiotanga, ki te āwhina i ngā tāngata o Aotearoa ki te whakamārama he aha te kāwanatanga tuwhera ki a rātou help, he whakarite wāhi mō ō tūāhua, me te akiaki i ngā hapori ki te whakaanga mai ki tēnei kaupapa, kia mārō tonu ai ngā hononga.


Nā te noho hei mema o te OGP e āhei ai te tuari mōhiotanga, mātauranga hoki ki te ako hoki i ngā wheako o tētahi atu