Online engagement — overview
One of government's aims is to make it easy for people to give feedback on policies and services that will impact them. Then government can make better decisions.
Effective engagement uses both online and offline methods. Each method has its strengths, and they also complement each other.
An online engagement strategy will help you get the most out of your engagement activities.
- People increasingly expect and prefer to engage online.
- People can take part at a time and place that suits them.
- You can talk with people who are in parts of the country that are more difficult to access. You can also talk with groups that are spread across an area, nationally or internationally.
- You can tap into existing online groups.
- Online engagement is often cheaper — there’s no need for venue hire, catering, facilitators, printing, travel and similar costs.
- Central and local government are required to consult with the public by legislation (such as the Local Government Act 2002, Land Transport Act 1993, Resource Management Act 1991 and New Zealand Public Health and Disabilities Act 2000) and international obligations (such as the Open Government Partnership).
Online engagement strategy
The public-facing website Govt.nz has a page that makes it easier for the public to find information about online consultations. Public sector agencies can submit information about their consultations for the listing.
Research and trials
Supporting participation in government
In 2017, the Department of Internal Affairs ran a 6-week research project focused on ways that digital can support participation in government — how government can let people, business and communities know what decisions and policies were being developed and how they can help shape those decisions and policies.
In 2016–2017, the Department of Internal Affairs developed and tested a Government Online Engagement Service (GOES) tool that allowed agencies to set up and manage online consultations, which were hosted on Govt.nz.