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28 November 2022 – Open Government Partnership EAP quarterly meeting

Meeting: Open Government Partnership EAP quarterly meeting 

Date: 28 November 2022 

Time: 10-11am  


  • EAP: Suzanne Snively, Simon Wright, Sean Audain, Farib Sos, Rachel Roberts. 
  • Independent Review Mechanism: Elizabeth Eppel 
  • OGP Regional Coordinator, Asia and the Pacific: Alan Wu  
  • Te Kawa Mataaho (TKM): Hugo Vitalis (Deputy Commissioner, Integrity Ethics and Standards), Dean Rosson (Manager, OGP team), Tula Garry, Cathy Adank, Christine Lloyd. 

Topics for discussion 

  • Introducing Alan and Elizabeth. 
  • Overview of Cabinet-approved draft NAP4 and changes resulting from the consultation and Cabinet process. 
  • Initial considerations in developing a new multi-stakeholder forum (not solution focused). 


Prior to her current role at Victoria University’s Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Elizabeth Eppel worked in the public sector for over 20 years, primarily in the education sector. With a doctorate on complexity theory, Elizabeth is well qualified for the IRM role. 

Alan Wu previously worked on OGP matters in the Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet before joining OGP. 

Draft Fourth National Action Plan and changes made following agency and Ministerial consultation and the Cabinet process 

Dean gave an overview of changes to the draft Fourth National Action Plan (Plan) as a result of agency and Ministerial consultation and the Cabinet process. The Minister sought Cabinet colleagues’ input on eleven potential commitments. 

Two additional commitments were included in the Plan, namely: 

  • Establishing a multi-channel approach to public service delivery, and 
  • Improving the transparency and accountability of algorithm use across government. 

The commitment to adopt a community engagement tool was amended to include the development of a model standard on engagement. 

Cabinet decided that three potential commitments, relating to the Aarhus convention, open-source data, and an independent fiscal institution, would not be included in the Plan. 

The challenges in securing agency sponsorship for commitments as a result of agency resources being stretched, due to the impact of COVID-19 and full work programmes, was discussed. It was acknowledged that engagement with agencies should occur earlier and agencies must be confident that they are able to progress any commitments they sponsor. 

The principle of Cabinet confidentiality meant that officials were not able to share what was said in Cabinet. Recent experience suggested a need to improve the general understanding of the constitutional requirements of government in deciding policy. At the same time, the OGP work gave officials an opportunity to consider how institutional processes might be adapted to increase transparency and trust in government even more, to strengthen democracy. 

EAP members reflected that early engagement and at a deeper level with community was important. The strict OGP timelines tended to dictate a transaction-based approach to developing Plans, rather than a focus on a strategic vision, reflecting aspirations for the future. There was a need to involve more grass roots participation in creating a vision. 

Creating a new multi-stakeholder forum 

The tight timeframe for developing the next MSF (3 months) was noted as potentially needing to be revised and extended and worked through with Ministers if changes are made. 

One way to approach the design of the new MSF discussed was through “big shifts” analysis (similar to Wellington City Council approach), to identify areas of significant change that might drive the work programme and set an overall vision for the MSF. 

There needed to be a sustained effort in both developing a vision and in developing a constructive literacy process on our system of government, alongside designing a new MSF. Building relationships and trust was integral, particularly, with grass roots New Zealanders from outside Wellington. 

Considerations for work going forward included: 

  • The importance of including grass roots perspectives, especially from people based outside of Wellington. 
  • Having even representation of senior officials and community. 
  • Having the MSF approving and monitoring the co- creation process. 
  • supporting CSOs to participate. 
  • Involving senior agency officials early in the process to secure agency support for commitments. 
  • The OGP’s design principles for MSFs, including the co-creation principles.
  • An open and transparent appointment process. 
  • The need to involve the Minister for the Public Service and possibly Cabinet in decisions over the structure and makeup of any potential MSF.

Other matters 

Alan advised that Sanjay Pradhan, the CEO of OGP, will be visiting New Zealand in late April 2023 and is keen to meet.