Guidance material for public servants
"Participation works best when people feel that they can make a difference, when they have the time to fully engage with the issues, and when there is a healthy relationship of mutual respect. It works worst when it is rushed, ill-informed and vague about the links to formal decision-making or when it allows the loudest voices to dominate." Geoff Mulgan, Involve Chair, United Kingdom
In 2007, the sector called for a change to the culture of government, for improvements to the ways the government engages with the sector, and for changes to government funding and accountability arrangements.
In response, on 13 June 2011 Cabinet endorsed the Kia Tūtahi Standing Together Relationship Accord; an important symbol of commitment between government and communities to build strong relationships. View the Accord on the publications page.
At Parliament on 1 August 2011 the Prime Minister and Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector hosted a signing ceremony and signed the Accord on behalf of Government. The Accord was also signed by community representatives and endorsed by the government chief executives present.
In practice, this will mean working alongside a wide range of stakeholders in the sector and within government to help determine priorities and the way forward. Real progress will only be made with involvement from the sector at national and grassroots levels, local and central government officials, and where appropriate, business and academia. We each have a role to play in our day to day interactions, policy development and decision-making.
The following resources may help public servants to embody good practice in their work:
- The Good Practice Participate website helps public servants to engage successfully with community, voluntary, iwi and Maori organisations. It supports active involvement in decision-making as a sign of a healthy, participatory democracy.
- The Good Practice Funding website covers why government funds NGOs, the importance of healthy relationships with NGOs, funding processes and NGO perspectives on government funding.
- The Ready Reference Engagement Guide is for public servants at all levels who interact with communities. If you are new to working with communities, this guide will help you learn about organising consultation processes, working in partnership, and building trusting relationships.
- Public Service Employeer Supported Volunteering Guide provides guidance on how government agencies can offer volunteering opportunities to employees.
- Treasury’s Guidelines for Contracting with Non-Government Organisations for Services Sought by the Crown – guidelines to help government agencies deal with NGOs on funding issues.
- Principles to Underpin Management by Public Entities of Funding to Non-Government Organisations – a good practice guide that sets out the principles the Auditor-General expects public entities to consider, and act in keeping with, to manage funding arrangements with NGOs.
- When Government Engages – The Guide to Online Participation helps state servants navigate the complex and exciting terrain of technology-enabled public engagement. It embodies government’s commitment to achieving a world class professional State Service.
- The Policy Development Toolkit on the Public Sector Intranet is a single point of access to New Zealand policy development guidance documents and websites
- The Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) Distribution Guidelines for central government agencies help reduce administrative costs and allow the CAB network to focus on its core role of providing information and advice to the community.
- Jo Cribb’s Being Accountable: Voluntary Organisations, Government Agencies and Contracted Social Services in New Zealand explores the contracting relationship from the perspective of voluntary organisations and highlights the fact that voluntary organisations and government agencies typically have similar aims: to provide services that generate positive results for those receiving them.