On the 21st May, 2018, the States Services Commission (SSC) organised the first of three Open Government Partnership (OPG) workshops.
The aim was to gather a diverse range of opinions to identify the key challenges that could be addressed through New Zealand’s third national action plan for Open Government.
SSC Comissioner Lewis Holden began the day with an introduction to the OPG and an emphasis that they were eager to ensure this partnership had value for New Zealand communities.
Tohatoha Aotearoa joined a small group of twelve, including representatives from local and central government, the not-for-profit and educational sector as well as private individuals.
The group also represented multiple Māori, Pacific and ethnic perspectives and included a range of different age levels.
The key areas this group raised included questions regarding how to develop a value-based approach to open government that reflects appropriate tikanga for tangata whenua, Pasifika communities and tauiwi (settler communities); the availability and accessibility of open government data and how to use this in accordance with socio-cultural indicators; and, developing engagement, interest and ambassadors for an open government partnership programme.
In addition, specific topics were also introduced such as creating an enabling environment for open government to thrive, ensuring digital sovereignty of the individual and community was upheld; and creating opportunities that will see a greater social action investment from different members of society.
The all-day workshop concluded by appointing three representatives to attend the follow-up workshop in Wellington in June to further refine these ideas and ensure they are synthesised into the wider plan. Dione Joseph was nominated as one of the three representatives and will be attending the next workshop phase on behalf of Tohatoha Aotearoa.
The intention is to ensure a national group gathers in Wellington to reflect a breadth of ideas, experience and expertise. This group will then refine the data gathered by the workshops into to identify key action points, expected outcomes and appropriate measures for monitoring and evaluation.
In addition, there will be an emphasis on ensuring that while the plan does have a two-year span there is also generational planning to ensure sustainability of this kaupapa.
Strategic Advisor, Tohatoha