- Title page
- 1 - Introduction
- 2 - New Zealand's OGP Action Plan Commitments 2014-2016
- 3 - Meeting OGP Grand Challenges - New Zealand's Progress
- 4 - National Action Plan Development Process and response
- Appendix A: BPS Results Programme Overview
- Appendix B: Responding to the National Integrity System Assessment Report
- Appendix C: Stakeholder Participation in Action Plan Development
1 - Introduction
New Zealand works hard to maintain and build upon the foundation stones that foster trust in government. We continuously strive to: maintain high levels of integrity; foster a culture of openness and freedom of information and public accountability; and protect personal information and confidential government information. We also require a culture of service to the public and responsiveness to the public's needs, concerns and complaints; merit-based appointments; free and frank advice and unbiased action; and ensure judicial independence. We expect public officials and institutions to be free from corruption and conflicts of interest; make ethically based decisions and provide leadership.
This continued vigilance contributes to New Zealand's reputation for integrity, openness and a corruption-free government. The results of our work can be seen in our high ranking on international measures of integrity, openness and transparency. For example, in 2013 New Zealand ranked:
- first equal out of 182 countries in Transparency International's 2013 Corruptions Perceptions Index
- first in the International Budget Partnership's biennial Open Budget Survey
- first out of 132 countries on the 2013 Social Progress Index
- third out of 183 economies on the World Bank's assessment of how governments regulate commerce
- fourth out of 77 countries in the 2013 Global Open Data Barometer, and
- in the top 10 in the World Justice Project's Rule of Law Index.
Recent initiatives that have built on our history of openness and transparency include:
|2006||Judicial Decisions Online provides a searchable database of judgments and decisions sourced from New Zealand Courts.|
|2008||The New Zealand Open Government Information and Data Programme was established as a cross-agency initiative.|
|2009||The website www.data.govt.nz was launched as part of a Government initiative to increase discovery and access to open government data for re-use. This directory now also includes datasets released by agencies under the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government (see first entry on page 2).|
|2010||The Government approved the New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing Framework which directed government departments and encouraged or invited other agencies to familiarise themselves with NZGOAL, and take it into account when releasing copyright material and non-copyright material to the public for re-use. This included Open Licensing, Open Access, Non-discrimination and Open Formats principles.|
|2011||The New Zealand Government released the Better Public Services Results programme as part of a suite of reforms the Government initiated in 2011 aimed at delivering better public services within tight financial constraints. Progress towards delivering Better Public Services Results is published on a regular basis on the BPS Online Channel.|
|2011||The New Zealand Government approved the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government. This commits government departments to actively release high value public data for re-use, and encourages and invites other government agencies to do so.|
|2011||The New Zealand Government approved the New Zealand Data and Information Management Principles for managing the data and information it holds on behalf of the public. The Principles require that government data and information must be open, trusted and authoritative, well-managed, and readily available without charge where possible and re-usable unless there are necessary reasons for its protection.|
|2013||The New Zealand Government approved the Government ICT Strategy and Action Plan to 2017 totransform service delivery through digital self-service channels and unlock the full economic potential of Government’s information holdings.|
|2013||A new National Anti-Corruption Strategy, an All-of-Government response to organised crime, was announced in June 2013 involving a number of agencies in implementation.|
|2013||The remaining parts of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 came into force in 30 June 2013. This makes New Zealand safer by helping law enforcement agencies detect and deter serious crimes such as drug dealing, tax evasion and fraud.|
|On-going||We also play a strong leadership role in the Pacific. New Zealand's Aid programme, for example, funds the Pacific Judicial Development Programme, which promotes the rule of law and strengthens the capacity of courts across the Pacific. It also funds law-drafting assistance and provides a range of other support to promote political stability, security and good governance. More generally, New Zealand's Aid programme reflects and encourages transparency, accountability, democratic governance, gender equity and the rule of law.|
But we know that this is not enough - we cannot simply sit back and rest on our laurels. We must ensure that in the rapidly changing New Zealand (and global) environment, that the Government is well equipped to meet future challenges. Maintaining New Zealand's reputation as an open, corrupt-free government is vital as it supports New Zealand's efforts to pursue a wide range of goals multilaterally. By joining the Open Government Partnership (OGP), New Zealand recognises the need to build on our successes and to be open to the challenge from others to do even better.
A central focus of the OGP is about making governments more open, accountable and responsive to citizens. At the heart of New Zealand's government is a democratic system that encourages New Zealanders to participate in the government's decision-making. There are a range of formal and informal mechanisms in place to engage stakeholders, including discussion papers on policy proposals, public forums, interest group representation, select committee processes, free and informal access to Members of Parliament in the electorates, referendums, stakeholder feedback on local government proposals, or using online surveys to gather feedback from those who are involved in providing or receiving public services.
Increasingly, the Government is seeking to engage civil society  on co-creating policy and decision-making. Our stakeholders say they want to play an active role in the policy development process including a more open and transparent policy development process that would see stakeholders involved in decision making at the outset. This Action Plan aims to address stakeholder aspirations. It is a living document that we will develop and enhance over time in collaboration with stakeholders.
1 Civil society: a community of citizens linked by common interests and collective activity.