Reduce barriers to participate in decision making

- Don't request log ins and registrations unless absolutely necessary. This can be a barrier in itself

- In physical and digital engagement, go to where people are.

- Recognise the opportunity cost of giving time to participate in processes. This might mean meeting the cost of travel, food or childcare. It could mean offering incentives, or prizes where appropriate

- Use clear conversational English to highlight why the decision is relevant to your target audience. It's easy to get bogged down in government language. 

Why the contribution is important

Many people are time poor, with competing interests for their discretionary time. Be respectful of their limitations and make the most of any time people are able to give by only asking for feedback where it can have impact, and affect real change.

by StephM on July 01, 2021 at 04:43PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.4
Based on: 5 votes


  • Posted by annesb July 14, 2021 at 10:55

    Like travel, food and childcare assistance
    Can help those on low income wanting to do their submission, input
    eg a youth wanting to take part
    young marrieds on limiting income
  • Posted by stowellj July 21, 2021 at 16:54

    Absolutely. Some of the activities undertaken as part of the current Nation Action Plan have been aimed at making the process of submissions less intimidating, which is good. However, mush better would be personal invitations through the normal processes of setting up a citizens' assembly or similar mini-public, where Government actually reaches out instead of impersonally soliciting feedback through some Ministry website. And yes, participants are paid for their time, travel and other expenses and every effort made to remove barriers to participation. Assemblies are usually held at weekends, spread over some months. Embrace the public instead of holing them at arms length.
  • Posted by stevefamilies4justice July 27, 2021 at 11:15

    A responsive government is one that hears what people have to say and responds to the identified needs and issues

    I have done submissions , I have taken court cases, I have protested , no one listens ,there needs to be a Royal commission into why the beau acracy doesn't work for the people ( because its work s in favour of the state )
  • Posted by AdrianavanAltvorst July 27, 2021 at 18:35

    Honestly, I am surprised that the Public Services Commission should even be asking this question. They have a role in reviewing performance of government agencies and Chief Executives so they should know this stuff.
    The fact that they did not put in place these factors infers that they actually have no idea
    That is a very big problem - not knowing what good practice is as an organisation that reviews our government agencies and Chief executives makes me ask the question
    Does the Public Services Commission have the ability and capacity to do the job that they have been tasked to do and what the tax payer pays them to do at great cost?
    Who reviews the Public Services Commission and the Chief Executive, Peter Hughes?

    In order to actively participate the following are required:
    1. people need to be informed that they need to turn up
    2. people need to be informed about the topic and why it is relevant to them
    3. people need to be able to get to the venue and/or attend Zooms and/or do this online channel
    4. people need to have the skills and ability to complete number 3
    5. people need to feel safe to share their opinions
    6. people need to be clearly informed of what is going to happen with their responses
    7. people need to know that their responses are going to be acknowledged and they will be counted and heard
    8. people need to know the outcome of the whole process
    9. people need to know that they can be part of the process so they need to KNOW that process from day zero right to the end
    10. People need to be welcomes
    11. People need information in a format that is meaningful
    12, people with disabilities need to be catered for - not everyone can read, not everyone can hear, not everyone can see, not everyone can use a computer, not everyone has a computer, not everyone can get to the venue, not everyone knows how to enter their opinions on the computer, not everyone has access to internet, not everyone can talk, not everyone can speak, read, write and understand English....If you do not cater for ALL the people's needs then you will only get a SELECT FEW participating which means ONLY THOSE WHO PARTICIPATE WILL BE COUNTED
    13. People need TIME to get INFORMED and TIME to RESPOND
    14. People have to TRUST the agency

    This is about ACCESSIBILITY for all. We have to REMOVE and/or MINIMISE the barriers that people face. To do that you need to KNOW the people and KNOW what their NEEDS are
    This is about ensuring as many people as possible are INFORMED in a MEANINGFUL way
    It is about having RECIPROCAL, POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS with people
    The key factor is TRUST

    Here are the barriers I faced to get to the hui:
    1. I did not hear about this in aTIMELY manner because it was not well advertised
    2. I had limited information about what you wanted so I could not prepare for a response
    3. By the time I did find out I only had a day to research in order to provide an INFORMED response
    4. The webpage has far too much written information so I had to work hard to read it all to get informed
    5, There were only a few venues for face-to-face in Auckland
    6. I was not acknowledged as Tangatawhenua at the hui....bad start
    7. I had to OVERCOME my FEAR of driving in South Auckland at NIGHT to a venue I had NEVER been to
    8. I had to build up COURAGE to walk into the room
    9. I wanted to be part of the advisory group. I was told that it was too late because the team had already been selected by a SELECT FEW people - I thought right here we go again - EVERYTHING has been decided this is just a smokescreen and a check in the box.....ADDING to my DISTRUST in the Public Services Commission
    10. The Public Services Commission can say all they like to my face but because I do NOT TRUST them I do not believe that they are being truthful. Many of our government agencies have repeatedly lied and let me down that I am AMAZED that I even bothered to turn up. After I got told that THEY had SELECTED the TEAM and they COULD NOT make changes it confirmed what THEY ALWAYS do....THEY can make changes for THEM but they CANNOT make changes for us
    11, The ONLY reason I came was that a friend was going so I thought I would go with him.
    12. Making a comment online was hard for me because LOOK at the is complicated to me. It took me ages to figure it out AND I have to write it down....NOT all people can write or navigate the page to make a comment
    13, LOOK at all the barriers I had to face...and I am educated with a computer and I can read english
    14. And I am pleased that only 11 people turned up because we were able to talk BUT nobody audio recorded the discussion which was so all that RICH, valuable conversation was LOST
    15. With ALL the money we tax-payers INVEST into the Public Services Commission and ALL the knowledge as in data-collected and research I would have expected that THEY had done a better job at getting maximum active participation from us, the people
    Here is the question that I have to ask:
    How did the Public Services Commission get ENGAGEMENT with the people so WRONG?
    It is NOT good enough
    The Public Services Commission need to consider making the WHOLE ACTION PLAN about addressing ALL the HISTORIC, SYSTEMIC FAILURES across ALL our government agencies and create BEST PRACTICE EXEMPLARS so they KNOW what GOOD PRACTICE LOOKS LIKE
    Adriana van Altvorst Child Advocacy NZ

  • Posted by Kay July 28, 2021 at 15:56

    Barriers to participation in many government processes include digital exclusion, poor Government communications and disconnection from people's lives. Some people are unable to book for a Covid19 vaccination because they don't have a phone or use a computer. They should still be able to participate in the system. The Government has a moral and civics obligation to provide alternative ways for people to participate that fit the person's needs and capacity. This may include navigators at community hubs and assistance with navigating through literacy barriers or with sign language or translators or other assistance.
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