“Active citizenship means people getting involved in their local communities and democracy at all levels, from towns to cities to nationwide activity. Active citizenship can be as small as a campaign to clean up your street or as big as educating young people about democratic values, skills and participation. Active citizenship is one of the most important steps towards healthy societies.”[1]

We want to hear from you:

In the context of future Open Government Partnership commitments, we are interested in building on work around active citizenship and public participation in democratic processes:

  • What do you think would encourage more active citizenship and partnership in New Zealand?
  • Who should be involved?
  • How would that make a difference to you and others?
  • What have you heard friends and family members, or others, talking about when it comes to this topic?

Here’s some more ideas on this theme that came out of our 2020 workshops: OGP NAP4 Ideas Participation

With the idea generation workshops continuing into July, we’ll also be keeping this challenges open until Wednesday 28 July

Make sure you sign up for updates when you register if you want to stay involved in the conversation.


We want to enable more people to be actively and regularly involved in our democracy and contribute to the change they want to see for their communities. We hope this will help New Zealanders have more opportunities to be heard, to co-create and influence policies and services that meet current and future community needs, build on New Zealand’s strengths and help shape our collective future.


New Zealand has developed three previous OGP National Action Plans with commitments that seek to support and build active citizenship and public participation in democratic processes. For example, in National Action Plan 3:

  • Commitments 1 and 2: both aim to improve public understanding of how Parliament works and engage a greater number of people with its work. Commitment 2 was particularly focused on youth/rangatahi.
  • Commitment 3: School Leavers’ Toolkit: a collection of resources that were created to better educate students about government, financial literacy, workplace skills and other practical topics. This helps young people feel more confident navigating life after school.

What have people said?

In 2018, we received about 50 ideas that expressed in various ways New Zealanders’ knowledge of our system of government and how they can participate. National Action Plan 3 explains what happened to those ideas. People expressed a desire to be empowered to contribute to wider community life.  Individuals and communities told us that they have provided input to government organisations, but because these organisations were not well connected information was not shared. This can result in a multitude of ‘consultations’ and ‘consultation overload’.


This discussion belongs to Te Kawa Mataaho, which is responsible for moderating and publishing comments. However, individual comments remain the view of person posting them and cannot be taken to represent the views of Te Kawa Mataaho. We will use our best endeavours to ensure that posts that do not meet our requirements are not published.

[1] Andrej Nosko & Katalin Széger Active Citizenship Can Change Your Country for the Better (2013)

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