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28 October 2021 – Meeting with Minister Hipkins, Minister for the Public Service, and Expert Advisory Panel and Civil Society Organisations representatives


Minister Hipkins, Minister for the Public Service

Members of the Expert Advisory Panel

Representatives from Civil Society Organisations

Representatives from Te Kawa Mataaho | Public Service Commission

Topics for discussion

  • Joint Report on progress to develop fourth National Action Plan


  • Representatives from groups made opening remarks emphasising the importance of doing all we can to engage the whole of New Zealand in matters affecting democracy, committing to developing ambitious goals through NAP4 and focusing on community connection and putting Te Tiriti into practice
  • Acknowledgement that we are stepping up the “ladder of engagement” and that we need to continue to draw on deep subject matter expertise in this space, including that held by EAP members and CSO representatives
  • Minister made opening remarks welcoming the group and acknowledging the work over the past 18 months to strengthen citizen engagement (including seeing people’s trust in government institutions increasing in Aotearoa New Zealand while the opposite had been the case since the start of COVID-19). Good communication has been central to this
  • Minister highlighted opportunity to pick one or two “signature bold initiatives” and stretch ourselves under NAP4 but also be realistic about what is achievable
  • Need to acknowledge that there may be budgetary impacts and that will be challenging to fund commitments; we don’t want to discount pursuing commitments within existing funding and systems and should consider embedding open government efforts into BAU where possible
  • Keen to work in partnership to deliver a plan we can all be proud of. This can include some smaller commitments too
  • Need to make the process accessible, transparent and collaborative
  • CSO representatives advocated for New Zealand signing the Aarhus Convention
  • Minister indicated his interest in engaging with this work in more detail over the summer period